Brand Managers Struggle with Social Media

High profile brands have struggled to maintain market share during the recent recession. Consumers have been trading down to less expensive products. In addition to pricing pressures, brand managers must contend with a lack of brand awareness, more competition and changing demographics. As a result, brand managers are looking for more effective ways to capture consumer attention. And while many managers are using online formats, not everyone is convinced that social media can help. These are the preliminary findings of the 2010 State of the Brand Report.

Brand managers definitely believe that an online presence builds reputation and consumer awareness. According to the survey findings:

  • Online strategies help improve brand awareness: 70%
  • Online communications are the most valuable strategy for reaching consumers: 68%

But managers remain concerned that one online format, social media, lacks an important element. Scott Mires, Principal and Creative Director, MiresBall says, “Simply building awareness is not enough today. What consumers are told — and how they respond — are most important.” This explains why brand managers continue to rely on what they know has worked. The following formats, currently, provide the best return on investment in the brand management game: Online communications (68%), public relations (56%), and social media (40%).

Here’s how the surveyed brand managers feel about social media:

  • Reaches consumers who were previously unreachable: 52%
  • Building customer loyalty is NOT easier through social media: 30%
  • Impact of social media is NOT sufficient to change brand strategy: 41%
  • Social media present new challenge to  protect brand integrity: 41%

Despite their current hesitation, up to 80% of brand executives say they’ll be effectively using social media in 2 years. Managers should keep one detail in mind. “Brands that continue to tell authentic and relevant stories to their audiences — regardless of the touch point — connect more successfully with their audiences.” Typically, about 6% of a firm’s total marketing budget is allocated for brand management. Companies that spend their money wisely in branding campaigns will impress a clear picture of what they stand for in the mind of the consumer.

[Source: 2010 State of the Brand Report. MiresBall​.com. 23 Aug. 2010. Web. 31 Aug. 2010] 
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.