Ad Agencies Questioning Value of Social Media

Ad agencies know they have to be up to speed on the latest technology in order to win clients. This same technology can also be problematic twitterwhen clients are looking for hard data on their return on investment (ROI). STRATA, in a new survey, notes that half of agencies limit their social media ad purchases because they can’t demonstrate value.

Nearly all agencies say they’ll be purchasing more social media and online video for their clients this year. They’ll be paying for social ads as follows:

  • Facebook 81%
  • YouTube 57%
  • Twitter 48%
  • Pinterest 35%
  • LinkedIn 33%

Agencies are also very interested in online streaming in both audio and video formats. While YouTube rules the online video world, interest in Netflix, Instagram Video and Vine is growing.

Despite the excitement about these new formats, there is concern about proving value.  Joy Baer, Executive Vice President of STRATA says it’s not unusual for marketers to want to grab onto the latest shiny new object. She notes, “the buzz often comes before the pay off.”  Marketers and agencies both are anxious to have more data that pinpoints ROI for these new formats. In addition, buyers would like to see “lower minimum volumes and less complex targeting” instituted in the industry.

The other key finding from this survey is the new concern about media mix for clients. The number of agencies worrying about this topic has increased 20% recently which is understandable as the number of formats continues to grow.

What are your thoughts on this survey? Do you believe value of social media has been quantitatively and definitively demonstrated?


Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.