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The Laidlaw Group

Social Media Spending Is Going to Explode

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Social Media Integration at Boston’s Laidlaw Group

For the last three years, we have focused on integrating social media platforms into our clients marketing communications programs. The social media channels have produced a substantial increase in brand awareness for our clients. This recent article from Ad Age Digital is worth a read.

Facebook is prepping for a massive IPO, Twitter is focusing its business exclusively on advertising and nearly three-fifths of digital decision-makers polled last fall said they plan to boost their social media ad spend over the next 12 months.

In an Advertiser Perceptions semiannual survey of nearly 1,200 people involved in deciding how ad dollars are spent digitally, 59% of respondents said they would increase social-media-ad spending in the next 12 months, compared with just 4% who said they would decrease spending on social platforms.

The survey also found that, on average, social media advertising will make up about 27% of digital budgets over the next 12 months, compared with 22% in the previous 12 months. No other digital category — including ad networks/exchanges, media companies, demand-side platforms, portals and agency-trading desks — expect to see in-budget share gains over the next 12 months.

About 60% of respondents work for agencies and 40% for brands, covering the Ad Age Top 100 advertisers in the process.

“The one area that marketers were more bullish on than agencies is social,” said Randy Cohen, co-founder and president of Advertiser Perceptions, which is expected to release the full results Tuesday afternoon.

Agency-trading desks, which handle bulk-audience buying on behalf of clients, was the only digital category in which respondents said they would decrease rather than increase spending over the next 12 months. Sixteen percent of respondents said they plan to reduce trading-desk outlays; 15% said they would raise them.

One strong caveat: The results indicate what decision-makers intend to do about allocating ad dollars. Results and other factors will ultimately determine what they actually spend, and Mr. Cohen said that while marketers feel they should be spending on social platforms, they are doing so without clear insights as to why. “From a results perspective … I think the jury is still out,” he said.

But what it does mean, if you’re in the business of selling social, is that the doors are open and, in many cases, the checkbooks are out.

The leading digital advertisers believe that half of their budgets in the next 12 months will be spent on brand-focused advertising. That number was just 25% or 30% three or four years ago, Mr. Cohen said.

 

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Social Media in the Inc. 500:
New Tools & New Trends

The Center for Marketing Research at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth recently conducted a new in-depth and statistically significant study on the usage of social media in fast-growing corporations. This new study revisits the Center’s study of Inc. 500 social media usage for the third consecutive year, making it a valuable and rare longitudinal study of corporate use of these new technologies.

The new study compares adoption of social media over three years (2007, 2008 and 2009) by the Inc. 500, a list of the fastest-growing private U.S. companies compiled annually by Inc. Magazine. For details about the 2009 Inc. 500 and the complete directory of the included companies, please visit Inc. Magazine’s website at www.Inc.com.

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