By nickjohnson - March 31st, 2013

It has become an increasing challenge for marketers - ensuring their social marketing efforts are tightly integrated with other marketing channels.

And now Data2Decisions and Thinkbox are adding to the pressure. Their new research has found that a huge 51% of brand ‘word of mouth’ is driven by TV advertising.

Perhaps more worrying for those putting significant budget into social engagement to amplify that word of mouth, an enormous 90% of ‘brand conversations’ are found to occur offline.

One could read that data in one of two ways

1) We’re wasting an awful lot of money on social to amplify a conversation that simply doesn’t happen on social networks

2) There’s an awful lot of potential - currently only 10% of conversations about brands are happening online - let’s push that figure higher through better social execution

Katherine Munford, Director of Data2Decisions, has her own opinion:

“Owned and earned online platforms amplify the effects of paid media by providing hubs for conversation - but delivering a long term impact is best achieved via paid media - with the audio-visual power of TV being especially powerful”

From our point of view, we lean toward the second reading - and point out that there is still an awfully long way to go before brands can be confident that they’re integrating social as well as they should be with existing marketing channels. Current TV ads’ only real concession to drive to social sites is hashtags whacked up at the end of a 30-second spot, and requests to visit Facebook pages. Is it enough?

Let me know what you think in the comments.

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