57.7% of companies plan to incorporate social media in their plans for next year
Social networks may still seem like an emerging medium, if an ad medium at all, on some parts of Madison Avenue, but a new report on the media buying plans of advertisers and agencies indicates that having a “presence on social networks” is one of the top priorities of their media plans for next year. The report, the 2010 Media Planning Intelligence Study, which is being released today by the Center for Media Research in conjunction with InsightExpress, found that 57.7% of respondents “ideally” plan, and 56.3% “realistically” plan to include social media in their media plans next year.
That finding is significant, because it shows the rapid speed with which social media, including social networks like Facebook, micro-blogging services such as Twitter, and other new and emerging formats connecting people to each other online have taken a precedent with both consumers and marketing and advertising industry professionals. It also comes only a few months after Madison Avenue’s de facto bean counter, Interpublic forecaster Brian Wieser, conducted a lengthy research and soul-searching process concluding that social media is not a form of advertising, consequently leading him to omit it from Interpublic’s official ad spending forecasts.
“We expect that the data and insights in the study can assist agencies and other media planners and buyers to make the case for particular media spending next year,” said Chuck Martin, Director of the Center for Media Research, which is a unit of MediaPost Communications that publishes the daily Research Brief newsletter and a variety of research reports aimed at marketers and advertising agency media planning and buying professionals.
The base for the new report is a survey of 1,972 MediaPost subscribers conducted between July 17 and Aug. 10, 1,164 of whom said they have “planning, buying or approving responsibility” for their organization’s 2010 media plans.
Interestingly, “non-traditional” media such as online, mobile and other emerging media platforms, slightly outweigh the “traditional” media (TV, radio, print and out-of-home) plans among these respondents for 2010: 57% to 43%.
The study also asked respondents to distinguish between what they “realistically” intend to buy in 2010 vs. what they would ideally like to buy, and found that digital and emerging media are the most likely forms to be on their 2010 budgets.
Email marketing was the No. 1 medium, cited by 56.8% of respondents as being a realistic part of their 2010 media plans, followed by social networks (56.3%), keyword search (49.7%), radio (42.2%), magazines (42.1%), online display (40.5%), event sponsorship (36.9%), rich media display (35.5%), direct mail (34.7%), regional TV (32.8%), regional newspapers (31.7%), out-of-home (31.2%), email sponsorship (29.5%), online video (26.7%), mobile SMS text (26.1%), and others. Interestingly, national TV (18.2%) and national newspapers (14.8%), ranked near the bottom of these respondents’ realistic 2010 media buying plans.
The report also delineates the differences among respondents based on their job functions, titles, whether they are agency or brand marketing executives, and the degree to which they are responsible for traditional or non-traditional media. It also breaks down the differences between their realistic and idealistic buying expectations and provides an index on the relationship of those plans.