Performics & ROI Research: The Impact of Social Media

10 11 2009

Performics, the marketing arm of Publicis Groupe’s VivaKi Nerve Center, and analytics firm ROI Research, unveiled a joint-effort report at New York Ad:tech with some impressive findings. The report was compiled using over 3,000 responses to an online survey from social network users.

performics roi research

Here are some of the quick take-away’s:

  • 46% have recommended or talked about a product or brand on Facebook, and 44 percent have done the same on Twitter.
  • 31% felt social networking sites are great for seeking company and product information.
  • 30% learned about a new product, service or brand from a social networking site, and 25 percent have gone directly to an online retailer or ecommerce site after learning about a new product or brand.
  • 25% have recommended a product or brand to friends through social networking sites.
  • 20% have discussed them on social sites after seeing an ad elsewhere.
  • 27% reported being receptive to invitations to events, special offers or promotions received through social networking sites.

Notable Quotes:

  • “Brands have a bigger opportunity than people would think-consumers are open to receiving promotions and offers from brands that they’ve connected with through social networks…Social networking between a consumer and a brand has created this interesting dynamic where you’re making a brand your friend and you’re treating like a friend.”” – Scott Haiges, president of ROI Research.

As far as which brand messages connect with consumers, as you can imagine freebies and deals dominate.  Printable coupons are at the top (surprise surprise – people like free stuff!), with 32 percent of consumers saying it resonates with them. Sales and special deals (28 percent) and offers to win points for some type of online currency (23 percent) follow.

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Toyota’s Yaris Social Media Campaign Off to Rocky Start

10 11 2009

I found this video originally from Laurel Papworth’s article where she lambastes Toyota for taking a shot-gun approach to social media marketing in the Australia market. They’ve given five agencies $15k AUD each to see what they can do with social in a “winner-take-all” contest.

Papworth correctly calls them on trying to take a strategy that would work with traditional advertising firms and platforms and make it work with social media. The mistake in this is that the online medium is far less unforgiving than print, radio, TV or even basic banner ads. If Toyota’s agencies don’t tread lightly (which in this case means treading with sincerity, humility and appropriate tone), they stand to do more damage than good to their online brand, largely due to the backlash that appears to have already begun by the people they know doubt had the intention of influencing.

I believe that the intensity of Papworth’s criticism stem from a correct assumption that Toyota underestimates the unique challenge of creating a successful social media brand as well how big a role strategy plays. And because of the fact that she and other bloggers certainly do appreciate these challenges because they’ve done it for themselves – they’ve done the social media equivalent of pounding on doors to build/maintain their following and brand. Toyota’s shotgun approach unavoidably comes off as a bad simplification of the strategy, responsibility and work that goes into the process. I would imagine that the agencies are a bit more ahead of the game than their client; they likely realize the challenges, but they don’t have a much of a choice (it’s Toyota after all) but to try and put their best foot forward and fake it until they make it.
toyota-yaris-2009

The irony in all of the stir that’s been created is that none of it would likely have occurred if Toyota had, instead of awarding $75k across 5 agencies, simply awarded a single agency with a $25k test budget. I would argue that as far as actual results are concerned, they would likely have achieved the same relative level of impact but it would be significantly easier to digest the results and also determine appropriate next steps/investment. I do feel badly for the poor Toyota soul that was involved in pitching this. He or she no doubt had sincere intentions of wanting to lead the brand into this space in the “right” way, and may now be forced to answer questions about some of the unintended buzz that has already been created.

Follow Laurel Papworth on Twitter.