Marketing effectiveness deficit found for social media


A hallmark of recent holiday shopping seasons has been bargain hunting as consumers try to merge merrymaking with careful budgeting. A study found that during the just-completed 2011 shopping season, consumers used a number of methods to track down bargains, but social media barely made a dent on the radar screen.

The study came from Crowd Science, which measured what it calls consumers’ “Shopitudes” as they went about acquiring items for people on their gift lists.

For starters, only 15% look forward to entering actual brick and mortar facilities during this time of year, while 47% definitely want nothing to do with them.

By now it is common knowledge that online shopping is accounting for an ever-increasing share of total holiday spending. Still, despite the growing distaste for the brick and mortar experience, only about 25% did all their shopping online. Those who do less online shopping also tend to be those with the most concern about the security of the transactions.

When it comes to deal hunting, here’s how preferences breaks down:
* 25%: visiting companies’ websites
* 15%: print/hardcopy advertising
* 13%: email newsletters/notifications
* 9%: word of mouth from friends/family
* 3%: Facebook
* 1%: Twitter

“Our Shopitudes study indicates social media like Facebook and Twitter have a ways to go when it comes to influencing holiday shoppers,” says Crowd Science VP of Research Sandra Marshall. “Another fascinating finding is the significant change that can occur in consumer shopping behaviors and sentiment over time. As the holidays approach, we saw a shift in consumers’ spending plans, away from sticking to last year’s holiday shopping budget, and more toward increased holiday spending.”

RBR-TVBR observation: Broadcasters can take heart from these results – well-conceived advertising flights can drive consumers to websites and help inform their opinions which they will then use word-of-mouth to spread. These are important points to keep in mind when pitching your stations.