Career Advice Job Market Trend Report

Social Media Has Evolved into an Essential Mainstream Marketing Tool

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif., June 26, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Businesses across various industries have altered their marketing focus from traditional mass marketing to targeted marketing, to increase response rates and drive sales. Customers have control of their corporate relationships through social media and as a result companies are now driven to find ways to enable customer engagement on a customized basis. Consequently, social media has rapidly emerged as an ideal marketing tool.

Recent analysis from Frost & Sullivan, From Mass Marketing to Social Marketing, finds that social media is helping businesses transform their unidirectional marketing approach to a bidirectional customer engagement model. Social media has become a viable targeted-marketing channel, enabling businesses to gather customers' self-reported personal information and use the data in personalized campaigns and offers.

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"Businesses are no longer satisfied with simply being present on popular social media sites and are now striving to gain an edge through social media marketing," said Frost & Sullivan Contact Centers Industry Analyst Brendan Read. "Therefore, they are evolving their social marketing focus from brand awareness to customer engagement and lead generation. This is exemplified by the widespread use of hashtags and popular social site logos in every medium."

With the proliferation of social sites tailored to niche interests, customers expect a high degree of content relevancy, authenticity and quality from companies that market to them. However, many firms do not budget adequate resources to execute suitable social media marketing programs. Some attempt to cut corners by limiting the number of sites they monitor and avoiding newer sites despite the evident relevancy they may have to their customers.

Although a business may successfully obtain a large user base and strong social community activity, this does not necessarily translate to sales. Despite establishing customer loyalty and satisfaction, these results cannot be directly correlated to their social media investments. A resolution to this issue can be addressed by connecting social media with the appropriate sales channels, which will in turn allow businesses to define, bolster and track return on investment.

"In addition, with social media presenting a large, fast-changing stream of unstructured data, companies must employ analytics to pick up the most pertinent posts that can be used to shape and refine marketing programs," advised Read. "As short social conversations may not tell the entire story, analytics can be deployed to source other relevant social and off-line data."

Creating customized, high-quality and relevant content, as well as enhancing social site monitoring, tracking, analysis and engagement will help businesses leverage social media in the quest for marketing success.

From Mass Marketing to Social Marketing is part of the Contact Centers & CRM ( Growth Partnership Service program. Frost & Sullivan's related studies include: Analyzing Customers' Social Voices, Integrating Social Media into CRM, Collaborating Socially to EnhanceBig Data Applications in the Contact Center: Opportunities and Challenges, and from IVR to Automated Customer Interaction. All studies included in subscriptions provide detailed market opportunities and industry trends evaluated following extensive interviews with market participants.

About Frost & Sullivan

Frost & Sullivan, the Growth Partnership Company, works in collaboration with clients to leverage visionary innovation that addresses the global challenges and related growth opportunities that will make or break today's market participants.

Our "Growth Partnership" supports clients by addressing these opportunities and incorporating two key elements driving visionary innovation: The Integrated Value Proposition and The Partnership Infrastructure.

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•The Partnership Infrastructure is entirely unique as it constructs the foundation upon which visionary innovation becomes possible. This includes our 360 degree research, comprehensive industry coverage, career best practices as well as our global footprint of more than 40 offices.
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