Yesterday ForeSee published a new study called "Social Media Marketing: Do Retail Results Justify Investment?" for both the US and UK demographics. It looked good at first. But after a closer look at their findings, it became clear that the whole thing is useless and misleading.
In these reports, you can find these two graphs from the US and UK:
The problem here is the top reason why people visit a website - Familiarity with Brand. That is not actually a marketing channel. It is the result of a long-term use of *other* marketing channels.
You can't compare the single point contact of promotional emails, social media, or advertising, with the long term effect that you get via creating familiarity with a brand.
This study conclusively shows that the most important factor, when it comes getting people to act, is building long-term familiarity. This is far more important than any specific marketing channel.
How do you create familiarity? Well, social media, blogs, and email have proven to really efficient at establishing a lasting connection with your audience. Or in short, social media, blogs, and email builds familiarity with your brand. See the connection?
Let us look at what happens if we divide the 46%, into the very marketing channels that created the familiarity in the first place?
Now you get a very different picture. It is still exactly the same raw numbers. Emails are still a very important channel (and it is), along with social interaction and blogs. Followed by the low impact channels like advertising, search engine, and shopping comparison sites.
This is, of course, only an estimate. But the point is simple. The most important thing you can do to increase sale is to build familiarity with your brand. The most important channels to do that with is via email, social media, and blogs.
Note: ForeSee, I urge you to create a new study. One that specifically looks at what the most important factors are when it comes to building familiarity with a brand. This study is useless without it.
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