New insights from the annual Ernst & Young Social Media Marketing Survey in India, show a surprising number of marketers and brand managers with notions that may sound more 2006 than 2016. The E & Y study covered over a hundred brands and reached out to 1250 consumers across Indian metros as well as professional brand managers and marketers.
By studying the what brand marketers perceive are the major digital marketing trends versus what consumers are actually doing, the study found some compelling discrepancies.
For instance, the study found brand managers believe the most popular social media sites are Facebook and Twitter. While that might hold true for Facebook, Dinesh Mishra, partner – advisory services and customer practice leader, EY India, said that in reality only 18-pecent of the consumers surveyed are active on Twitter versus other social media platforms. The study found a preponderance of consumers taking to sites such as Instagram.
The survey also found that marketers still believe the website is the most effective digital marketing tool to reach consumers when in fact, social media platforms are the more popular vehicles for consumers.
Other interesting observations from the study indicated that despite so many consumers using social media, brand managers still do not measure social media ROI. “ROI on social media can be measured in many different ways…but it’s proving difficult for them to actually measure ROI, because there is no one standard formula,” says Mishra. While that may be true, the E & Y survey did find that more brands are investing in digital marketing.
Some of the areas where brand managers and consumers were on the same page include the mobile phenomenon as both are realizing the small screen of the smart phone or tablet beats any other. As such, brands are investing marketing budgets in mobile marketing platforms as a result.
Another area where marketers may need to focus, are crisis plans. The E & Y study found that 56-percent of brands still do not have an emergency response management plan in case a crisis should arise. Many brands have an attitude that it “may not happen to them.” Not having a crisis plan in place does mean one thing: the ability to react quickly in a world where social media operates at the speed of light, may be more difficult.
“Brands are still playing catch up, as initially social media was seen only as a marketing tool,” says Mishra. Mishra also said that only now brands are seeing “…that customers use social media as a powerful platform to share their experiences or voice their concern when a brand fails to meet their expectations.
Overall the study proved that brand marketers still have some learning in terms of the “real” social media trends. Mishra advises the following: “Brands should focus on content, engagement and continuous improvement. They should continuously review their engagement strategy and use analytics to improve their engagement with consumers.
The most important lesson brand managers can take away from the study according to Mishra: be open to change as Digital marketing is different than traditional marketing and always very dynamic.