I came across some research that speaks volumes about how social media is impacting overall marketing efforts. While I do take a position that social media deserves a place in almost every marketer’s budget and marketing plan, I am astounded at how (arguably) limited resources are disproportionately being assigned a bigger and bigger role in social media at the expense of mature distribution channels. The research that caught my attention was published by Bizible, indicating how many different first points of touch available to shoppers contribute to bring these shoppers into what was stated as “the very first online marketing touch” in the shopping process. For social media in the travel sector, the study results showed that less than 1% of marketing efforts at both first and last points of touch influenced purchasing behavior.
Arguably, most travel purchase decisions are complex and may involve influencing attributes from multiple channels for a single purchasing decision. It is not my intent to argue that social media marketing is a waste of time or money. It’s the proportion of resources allocated to social media marketing where I take issue. Instead of viewing social media as something hip, new and fun, it is well time that marketing efforts deployed into social media are measured using the same metrics that are assigned to more mature channels. Is anyone holding your marketing team accountable for resources assigned to social media? If not, it is past time to do so.