Social Business no longer an Option in 2012

As we approach 2012 the overarching sentiment in the world of marketing/advertising for the next 12-months, at least, is that brands need/want to extract more value (ROI) from the same (or from reduced) budgets. This is in the face of increasing uncertainty about the knock on effect in Australia as Europe’s economy crumbles into the Mediterranean.

So what’s to be done?

 

There are possibly three schools of thought.

 

1. Keep doing the same and reduce supplier and media costs
2. Try some something different but be careful not to throw out the baby with the bath water
3. Panic, do nothing and hope it will all go away

 

Doing the Same

Margins in media and advertising have consistently been squeezed over recent years. Particularly in media we see the buying groups scrapping over pieces of business for pointbuggerall percentages to demonstrate acquisition and “success.” This in turn often sees relatively junior staff at the investment-helm of millions of dollars.

Media rates always increase year on year, either in real terms or proportionately as audiences fall away or avoid ads or both.
Best case scenario here would seem to be offsetting the increased cost of media with reducing supplier costs. However if the well-trodden path was struggling to deliver results in the first place then this is not the option.

 

Something Different

Yes this is the time when I suggest implementing a social business strategy with, say, 10% of your budget.

Most Australian companies are underwhelmed with their social media-play and are subsequently frustrated with ROI and overall justification. This is fair enough too when we see how some brands are misusing the tools.

The recent KMPG study identified that nearly 50% Australian companies concede they have no social business presence and those that do are often misfiring. First mover advantage is sitting out there in most categories and any challenger brands with bigger spending competitors can seize the opportunity to outflank them.

 

Let’s be clear:

  • Developing a worthy social business works best when integrated with traditional media.
  • Social needs management and resource; it takes time and is not free.
  • Get it right and you’ll carve out a sustainable point of difference.
  • Get it right and you’ll be able to reduce costs in other areas such as research, customer service and even traditional advertising.

Here’s the latest Booz report from the US on how US companies are benefitting in a more mature social-market.

 

Hope it will all go away

Good luck with this one.

The tools may come and go but the opportunity to engage with in-bound marketing vs out-bound marketing will not. Maybe try something different.

What’s your mindset for 2012?

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