Increased Social Media Investment May Lead to More Efficient Marketing Spending

Big-​data experts continue to argue the fine points of measuring advertising expenditures and the resulting ROI. One industry heavyweight, Rex Briggs, is out with another book, SIRFS-​Up, on this topic. In this text, Briggs suggests that marketers are going about the marketing process incorrectly. While marketers may not agree with this theory, they may want to consider that Briggs has to say.

Jack Neff reviewed the new Briggs text in a recent Ad Age column. Briggs believes that marketers incorrectly  “focus on driving awareness first and advocacy second, when they should do it the other way around.” Because of this flaw, up to 40% of ad budgets are wasted, an increase of 3% from the reported figure in the study Briggs released in 2006. The erosion of ad effectiveness has much to do with social media. For the most part, social media is replacing the role played by official public relations in the past. As this is happening, many marketers continue to focus on their media-​planning models which are “too simplistic for a complex marketing world.”

Right now, most social media is being used to build awareness instead of advocacy. Briggs has developed a formula to help marketers optimize media mix and campaign spending. This formula also measures curves to show when the ROI begins to fall. For the most part, Briggs is encouraging marketers to spend more on social media. These expenditures, done right, are likely to have a bigger ROI when compared to display advertising which is beginning to fall because of the ever-​increasing inventory available online and the fragmentation of audience.

Marketers likely have their own thoughts on this topic and megabytes of spending data that show how their campaigns perform. But the basic concept proposed by Briggs and the link between social media, PR and advocacy is interesting to ponder.

[Source: Neff, Jack. Marketers are Getting Worse at Directing Their Budgets Wisely. Adage​.com. 28 May 2012. Web. 6 Jun. 2012] 
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.