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Social networks not rated by marketers for building sales leads

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Digital marketing disciplines like Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Pay-Per-Click advertising (PPC) and email marketing are still seen as more effective than social media for brand building and driving sales leads, says a survey of over 100 marketers.

The ‘Digital Disciplines’ report from integrated communications agency Rocket shows that only 21% of marketers surveyed rate social media as ‘very effective’ for brand building, and only 17% rating it as ‘very effective for driving sales leads.

In contrast, SEO (32%), PPC (28%) and email marketing (22%) are seen as ‘very effective’ for brand building with PPC (33%), SEO (28%) and email marketing (21%) rated as most ‘effective’ for driving sales.

However, this has not stopped the widespread adoption of social networks for a variety of marketing communications tasks. A massive 94 per cent of organisations are using social networks as part of their digital marketing strategy; and nearly two thirds (63%) of respondents claim to use social media for brand building.

Facebook and LinkedIn were identified as the most widely used social networks, with 61% of respondents stating their organisation has a presence on one or both. Twitter isn’t far behind with 54% stating they have a company feed, while nearly a quarter (23%) have a presence on location-based social network, Foursquare.

“The Digital Disciplines Report suggests that, despite the increasing use of social media, many marketers still hold more faith with other longer-standing online marketing channels,” said Pete Hendrick, managing director, Rocket. “However, with Facebook passing the 500m user mark earlier this year and twitter announcing the launch of premium accounts, this coming year will surely only see more businesses adopt social media marketing and improve their effectiveness.”

Missed email opportunities

Meanwhile new research from eCircle reveals brands are missing opportunities to create engaged buyers through email.

Email marketing services provider eCircle has carried out a marketing benchmark study covering the four largest ecommerce markets in Europe: the UK, Germany, France and Italy. It reveals how 80 of the largest European e-commerce retailers fare in email registration best practice, including IKEA, OBI, Decathlon and Espirit.

While 100% of German companies, 65% of UK companies, 85% of Italian companies and 75% of French companies sent an initial confirmation or welcome email within 10 minutes, 25% of UK and French retailers had a response time of a week or more.

In terms of the first newsletter being sent, the majority of companies sent it within 2 days, but in the most extreme cases, the waiting time for the first newsletter was up to 3 months.

Volker Wiewer, CEO of eCircle, commented: “Customer engagement is at its highest at the start of contact, so response times of severable days are unjustifiable. This time should be used to do a welcome programme; it’s the best strategy to turn a newsletter subscriber into a customer.”

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