Social media marketing, or SMM, is perhaps the best method to get one’s marketing message through. Both B2C and B2B companies are making it an essential part of their appointment setting and lead generation program.
And given several conditions such as the prevalence of digital channels and innovations in mobile technology, SMM has become a necessity for business survival. So much so that companies are spending a great deal in optimizing and creating their SMM platforms.
A report from the Wall Street Journal has found that SMM spending will experience a steady upsurge next year. Quoting a recent research paper from Duke University, the report says that spending will increase at least 11% in 2015 and 21% in the next five years. The report also states that expenditures in traditional advertising would “contract” by 3.6%.
It’s obvious. Digital marketing methods are slowly taking the place of television, radio and newspapers in terms of stimulating brand awareness. But can we see this as a positive development?
It might seem inevitable that SMM would supersede traditional advertising, but we cannot ignore its negative implications. Certain factors need to be taken into account before a social media lead generation campaign is realized.
The most compelling challenge to SMM is tracking its impact on one’s sales pipeline. The same Duke University report says that only 15% of marketers can effectively measure their SMM campaign through quantitative approaches. Furthermore, only 40% were able to gauge their campaigns based on qualitative rubrics. The reasons are numerous as they are complex: fluctuating marketing trends, shifting buyer behaviors and preferences, big data management, etc.
Spending on infrastructure.
Despite such projections however, analysts still see a rise in SMM budgets. A bulk of this will be dedicated to establishing vital lead management infrastructure. Spending in this instance will go to much needed upgrades and installing marketing automation software. Despite these activities however, marketers will still encounter the problem of ROI tracking. Unless an effective approach to this issue is realized, marketers will have to bear with inconsistent information about their online lead generation program.
What’s the prescription?
The only remedy at this point would be to focus on spending on quality manpower. Competencies in the field of B2B digital marketing are as good as having up-to-date marketing systems. Moreover, employing the services of a proficient B2B outsourcing company can also be a practical option, especially when you want to handle different audience interaction channels simultaneously.