Offerpop’s Report Examines 2014 Marketing Predictions that Came True & Those that Didn’t
Predicting trends in digital marketing, as well as major shifts in consumer behavior, have become customary at the start of every year. Offerpop (@offerpop), a leading provider of digital marketing software-as-a-service platforms, has reversed this custom.
The company’s The State of Digital Marketing Trends report for 2015 examines the top marketing predictions from early 2014 and then surveyed more than 100 marketers in late 2014 to see whether these predictions came true. Some of these predictions were relatively accurate while others completely missed the mark.
Some of the reports’ major findings were:
- It has become critical for brands to collect insights from social data
- Marketers still struggle to measure social ROI
- Brands are integrating email and social together for unprecedented results
Marketing budgets are increasing. According to Gartner Research, more than half of marketers will increase their marketing budgets by an average of 17% in 2015. While investments in this area remain healthy, this doesn’t automatically lead to better results. Previously reliable marketing channels are fragmenting and social media is maturing. There is also greater pressure for marketers to build one-on-one relationships with consumers. In order to drive their objectives, marketers need to shift their overall perspectives and adjust their tactics.
Brands Need to Collect Insights from Social Data
A major prediction from many fronts at the start of 2014 was that brands would use social media to collect information in order to tailor future branded experiences to customers’ specific preferences. According to Offerpop, this prediction turned out to be accurate, as 74% of surveyed respondents said they used data leveraged from social media to gain insights into customers.
Social media clearly commands a large and engaged audience—with Facebook boasting more than 1.39 billion monthly active users, Twitter more than 288 million monthly active users, and YouTube more than 1 billion users. “Every time one of these users takes action they are supplying data about their preferences, demographics, behaviors, emails, relationships and more,” observed the report.
What makes this data so much more useful is that it’s always up-to-the-minute, as social media users share information about their lives as it happens. Indeed, “no other channel provides this depth and scope of information.”
The Offerpop report provided tips to help marketers leverage their social media channels:
- Marketers need to track their most popular social content, and use the insight they’ve gained to inform their ad campaigns, email campaigns, and more.
- Marketers need to discover purchase intent, as it can help them target leads and customers more efficiently.
- Marketers need to improve consumer database segmentation by collecting vital demographic information.
- Marketers need to use email addresses and other information from engaged customers to build Facebook custom audiences and lookalike audiences for targeting in social and display ad campaigns.
Marketers Need to Accurately Measure Social ROI
In late 2013, experts said 2014 would see breakthroughs in how social media ROI was measured, with metrics like cost per impression, cost per engagement, cost per conversion, and ROI being standardized. According to Offerpop, this prediction turned out to be completely wrong. [See Figure 1]
Seventy-one percent of surveyed respondents said their measurement of social media ROI was not particularly effective, not effective, and neutral. Only 29% of marketers claimed their measurement was effective or very effective.
How can marketers define the ROI of their social marketing strategies to drive direct sales, engage customers, build brands, and increase brand awareness? Offerpop advises marketers to start tracking the direct sales that can be attributed to social media marketing—social coupons that have been redeemed and e-commerce sales that are linked directly to social campaigns, and the like.
Marketers also need to highlight the brand marketing value of their social strategy. While emphasizing brand marketing value doesn’t lead to direct, trackable actions, it can dramatically improve a brand’s visibility both online and offline.
The Offerpop report provided tips to help marketers effectively gauge social media ROI:
- Marketers need to drive sales directly from social by offering exclusives codes, coupons, gift guides, and other incentives to get social audiences in stores and then track responses.
- Marketers can use Facebook’s custom audiences to target their offers, test Facebook and Twitter’s “buy buttons,” and integrate social commerce features into their sites.
Marketers Need to Integrate Email with Social for Better Results
At the start of 2014, marketers predicted that email marketing would take the social route. This prediction turned out to be true for the majority of marketers. Brands have “begun to realize email and social have a symbiotic relationship”. Hence, marketers are using their social media channels to capture behavioral and preference data, and are using this data for social retargeting. Marketers are also leveraging their email database to drive their social conversions. [See Figure 2]
The Offerpop report provided tips to help marketers effectively integrate email with social:
- Marketers need to include opt-ins to their email lists when creating sign up forms and social campaigns.
- Marketers need to ensure the emails they’re sending to recipients are targeted to their geographic location, age, gender, and lifestyle. Targeting can be achieved by analyzing preference and demographic data from social media channels.
- Marketers should ask social fans to spread the word about their brands via email referrals and social sharing, and reward the top performers with additional incentives.
What other predictions from early 2014 turned out to be totally wrong? What predictions turned out to be true?
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