THURSDAY 17 FEB 2011 5:25 PM


Social media is still lagging behind more establishing digital marketing disciplines, according to new research into the opinions of marketing professionals.

Strategies such as Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) and email marketing are still rated as more effective for brand building and driving sales leads.

According to the Digital Disciplines report released by integrated comms agency Rocket, only 21% of marketers believe social media is very effective for brand building, and only 17% think it works for driving sales leads.

In contrast, SEO, PPC and email marketing are far more frequently viewed as effective in brand building and driving sales.

Social networks are still adopted across many marketing communications campaigns, with over 94% of respondents integrating them into digital marketing strategies, and almost a quarter of the marketers surveyed used social networks as a channel for internal communications.

The industry remains bullish on the prospect of growth in 2011, with social media seen as the most likely area for the biggest investment, along with mobile marketing and online advertising.

Pete Hendrick, managing director of Rocket, pointed out the increasing need for accountability across all digital marketing channels. “With the increasing dominance of Facebook and twitter, this coming year will surely only see more business adopt social media marketing and improve their effectiveness. However, it is certain that as more and more organisations divert resource into running campaigns through these channels, marketers will need to be more creative and demonstrate better ROI from their future digital marketing campaigns.”