New Research: Marketers are finally moving into social media along with budgets

In case small-to mid-size ad agencies aren’t paying attention from their lack of participation in social media, I wanted to highlight some new research which points to the fact that more marketers are moving into this arena … and their budgets are following. 

According to the “The ROI on Social Media Marketing” report from the Aberdeen Group, that Visible Technologies sponsored, 63% of the companies in their survey planned to increase their social media marketing budgets this year. eMarketer estimated that social network advertising alone will rise over 17% this year to $2.35 billion, up from $2 billion in 2008.

“Things are finally starting to change. Companies are learning how to leverage social media and tap into the rising tide of consumers participating in social network sites, blogs, wikis and Twitter.

Marketers have developed the tools and methodologies to drive marketing ROI by listening to and learning from customers and prospects. As so, the dollars are following this rising tide,” says Blake Cahill, Visible Technologies.

Five Compelling Facts from the Research, Providing Actionable Benefits for Readers:

  • 58% of  companies have dedicated resources devoted to social media marketing
  • 61% of companies have online community platforms (e.g., discussion forums, ratings and reviews, etc.)
  • 68% of  companies increased their investments in social media marketing while 34% are keeping their investment level that same as last year
  • 84% of companies aim to track and measure the ROI of their social media marketing activities
  • 58% of companies have dedicated resources devoted to social media marketing

You can download a complimentary copy of the report: “The ROI on Social Media Marketing”  through 5/1/2009

About Michael Gass

Consultant | Trainer | Author | Speaker

Since 2007, he has been pioneering the use of social media, inbound and content marketing strategies specifically for agency new business.

He is the founder of Fuel Lines Business Development, LLC, a firm which provides business development training and consulting services to advertising, digital, media and PR agencies.


  1. It is a very slow process. The folks I speak with are still very concerned about the “lack of control” of the message that is out there. Of course, I tell and show them that they do not really have control over what is on the net but their response (or lack of) is very telling and influences their brands reputation and ultimately ROI.

    An opportunity for us to help those that are timid and grow our agencies at the same time.

  2. Another great article Michael and again a better look at where proactive companies are starting to put their advertising dollars to good use. We are starting to see so much activity in cross marketing for Twitter and other social internet sites, whether in People Magazine or the new Sprint TV commercials; agencies and businesses are starting to “get it” and the more we, as social marketing “gurus”- so to speak – can help maximize their exposure the better the bottom line.


  3. Chad Israel says:

    Michael, again another great post. My experience from the agency side is that we approached social media opportunities with just about every client. Sometimes its more about showing a client not only their brand but the voice that their competition has on the social web. The previous commenter made a great point there’s the content channel the brand or client can control – then there’s the social web in which it seems as if they have no control…however there are an unlimited amount of tactics to deploy that can respond to those challenges.

    Looking forward to your next post!!


  4. The day they spread it equally into the healthcare market will be a great day! That segment is so particularly slow.

  5. Annemarie,

    Healthcare is a bit slow but there are lots of others that have taken their time getting into social media, including ad agencies that need to be leading the way.

  6. sumit Roy says:

    Social Media Marketing no matter which way agencies love to flaunt it ,is yet to show results. BY results I dont mean having an app in facebook and being on twitter .. I mean where is the ROI on social media. What is the cost per click on social media.

    Most companies with the exception of very are yet to learn about social media optimization.

    Agencies while they have been very quick on jump on social media bandwagon have not been able to show clients how social media could help provide more ROI on their spends.

    I believe that Healthcare companies specially Hospitals like Mayo Clinic and Wockhardt Hospitals have been very active in social media and we have seen some remarkable success stories…

  7. Roy,

    Thanks for taking the time to comment and provide your point of view. My experience has been just the opposite in regards to agencies participation in social media. I don’t think they have been quick to jump in at all. They have been extremely slow and for most they have only participated at the pressure from their clients.

    There is a lack of ROI, especially if an agency is just checking off a list that they participate in Facebook, Twitter and a blog. There are some that are seeing results (Razorfish, The Russo Group, Off Madison Ave, Park&Co, and Holland + Holland come to mind). But these were early adopters of social and are passionately participating.

    Unfortunately, for the most part, a number of companies are figuring out social on their own. A time when agencies could really be out in front leading in this communications revolution but they aren’t leading, and still for many not genuinely participating.

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