Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Social Media Budgeting, By Ray Spellerberg

Social Media Budgeting is one of the hardest tasks facing the marketing world at this moment.

Who Wants to be Known as Traditional?

Who wants to be known or even associated with the term traditional media? The battered and bruised category just seems so unattractive and unhip. The fact is, it still has a place in the media mix. Nonetheless, the traditional media space has changed dramatically over the years. It may be known today, in some circles, as more “content” than“influencer.” I believe it to be both. In fairness all media has an impact, and the way it is purchased and utilized is key. In the pre-owned automotive business profit per unit is often determined by how well the unit was originally purchased, reconditioned and presented. It is the same with media, especially traditional media. Price and value is not only determined by reach, circulation and impressions, but relevancy to the brand and the campaign objective must be considered as well.

2010 Marketing Budget Shift

Recent E-marketer research shows a dramatic shift of marketing budgets by category. Up to 79% of retail/ecommerce companies will increase their social media budgets, as the retail/ecommerce category is known to be leading indicators of marketing and advertising trends, and the rest of the business categories will surely follow.

2010 is a pivitol year for social media marketing budgeting. It is the first year of true and significant budget shifts from traditional and existing online media. The results will be scrutinized and analyzed all year in preparation for budget forecasts of 2011 and beyond. The results will vary based on objectives and no doubt creative considerations. The leaders in global branding, as early adopters to social media marketing, will once again widen their lead in the marketplace.

Ad Budgets Follow Audience

The point of budgets following audience has been tried and true for generations. There is no sense in publishing social media user statistics here, as they will be outdated by the time this is posted and read. The studies being conducted now on usage, demographics and growth all beg to the frightening truth that the social media space is moving so fast, that to not initiate a social media strategy now may be detrimental to a business in the very near future.

The good news is that when budgeting for social media, businesses do not need to add new dollars to the mix but rather reallocate existing dollars. A thorough examination of the current marketing budget always brings to light inefficiencies in the marketing mix. If there is not a solid sourcing process to determine the effectiveness of any budgeted marketing dollars, rest assured that the budget allocation for social media will be measurable if campaigned and implememented properly.

I am certain that the percentages of budget being allocated to social media will not be anywhere close to the percentage of users, or customers to a business, engaged in social media.

Must Drive Revenue

Your allocation of an existing marketing budget to a social media strategy is not about making friends or simply “having a conversation,” it is a highly effeicient way to drive revenue, find new prospects and nuture exiting customer relationships.

In the realm of social media, where friends and followers can number hundreds or thousands per profile, an appropriate shift in your budget goes a long way in growing your business.

By Ray Spellerberg

Director of Sales

Boom Media Inc

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