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ROI, Measurement Top Social Media Challenges

14 Aug, 2013 By: Doug McPherson

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. – Marketers say determining return on investment and measurement remain their key concerns in social media marketing circles, says a new report from Forrester Research.

Nearly 40 percent of marketers surveyed identified ROI as one of the top three challenges they face, followed by measurement issues, identified by 35 percent of respondents. About a third of respondents said lack of internal resources was one of their three biggest issues, followed by lack of budget (25 percent), “integrating this channel with other channels” (24 percent), and lack of time (23 percent).

In the report, titled “Integrate Social Into Your Marketing RaDaR,” Forrester analyst Nate Elliott summarized the problem: “The sobering reality is that nearly a decade into the era of social media, more social marketers are failing than succeeding.”

Elliott added that the failure to integrate social media with other channels is due to an attitude he calls “social exceptionalism,” which treats social media as fundamentally different from other types of media and marketing: “Rather than recognizing that social is just another marketing channel, many marketers see it as unique.”

More than half of respondents said that a lack of sharing customer data within their own organization is a barrier to effectively measuring their marketing ROI. And 37 percent didn’t include any mention of financial outcomes when asked to define what “marketing ROI” meant for their own organization, with 22 percent using brand awareness as their sole measure when evaluating their marketing spending.

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