Released on August 1, 2011, the Trends In Social Advertising Survey by Brian Solis and The Pivot Conference will surely be one that’s bandied about and its results shared often. But I wanted to take a look, a deeper look if you, behind the numbers.

Truth be told, I am anything BUT a “numbers person.” Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you… numbers and I just don’t get along. Goes back to grade school I think.

But I digress…

The first place I heard about the Trends In Social Advertising Survey, which was an industry survey of 230 brand managers, executives, and marketing professionals – was via eMarketer who decided to extract two of the charts and brand them in their own black and red bar charts. The eMarketer take away focused on how “marketers plan to extend social media ad investments” beyond Facebook and Twitter. They also highlighted the satisfaction of advertisers and marketers re: Facebook paid ads and their corresponding dissatisfaction for Twitter.

The eMarketer article is fine and I recommend reading it for sure and I am certainly not one to question Brian Solis – the man probably knows more about all this “stuff” as George Carlin would say, than I can ever hope to, but…I want to bring up just a few “interesting” things that caught my eye, shall I say from the report, which can be downloaded in its entirety here.

My first question after seeing this chart was “How are you defining ‘satisfied?'” The word “satisfied” at least to me, is a very ambiguous word and what I consider something to be satisfying may not be satisfying to the next person. Were the 230 brand managers, executives, and marketing professionals satisfied with their ROI? Did they set out to build brand awareness and was that cause for their satisfaction?

And what made 11% respond “very satisfied” while 43% didn’t feel the need to have the qualifier word and went with merely being “satisfied?”

Of course I also want to know what made 45% of the respondents respond “somewhat satisfied?” If that’s not incredibly ambiguous I don’t know what is. Were they satisfied with the new Twitter background one of their designers created yet not so satisfied with the ROI so they chose the down the middle answer of “somewhat satisfied?”

This chart above is another one that caught my eye, especially when juxtaposed over two other charts, one which demonstrates that 85% of respondents are either currently using social media advertising or will do so in the next 12 months. And still another one which highlights the fact that 70% of those responding stated that social media advertising planning is done at the same time as the entire campaign itself.

So 85% are either using social media advertising now or will do so soon and 70% factor social media advertising into planning BUT… only 38% actually include social media advertising in their real life campaigns?


Is that a major disconnect or have I just not had enough coffee today, yet?

There is one more finding I wanted to share with you that absolutely caught my eye and has to do with one line in this chart… care to guess which one caught my eye?

I will give you a hint… I wrote a post about this very topic not long ago entitled The Big Opportunity Marketers Are Missing Right Now.

Here’s another not-so-subtle hint…

How could the numbers/percentages be so low for Zynga? As I wrote in my aforementioned post, marketers who take full advantage of the incredible number of people playing social games are missing a huge opportunity.

Ok, I want to hear from you.

Did you read the full report from the Trends In Social Advertising Survey? What are your thoughts on all of it?

Are you a marketer and if so how would you have responded to the questions posed in the survey?

Source: Trends In Social Advertising Survey, Brian Solis, eMarketer, The Trends In Social Advertising Survey – Behind The Numbers