Spending on Conversational Marketing to Outpace Traditional Marketing by 2012, According to New Society for New Communications Research Study, Conducted by TWI Surveys, Inc. for Joseph Jaffe

New SNCR-led research indicates that spending on social media and conversational marketing will outpace that of traditional marketing by 2012, according to a study conducted by TWI Surveys, Inc. on behalf of the Society for New Communications Research and Joseph Jaffe. That finding and others are featured in Jaffe’s new book, Join the Conversation. The book reveals what marketers must do to become a part of the dialogue and how to leverage conversations in ways that benefit businesses, brands and lives.

In order to research his topic, Jaffe engaged the SNCR to conduct a study to assess senior PR and marketing communications professionals’ awareness and knowledge of social media and conversational marketing and their priorities for including it in their strategies and initiatives.

The findings of the study indicate that while social media adoption is still very much in its infancy, communications professionals foresee significant growth in adoption and spending over the next five years, and predict that conversational marketing will outpace traditional marketing by 2012.

Of the 260 respondents:

  • 70% are currently spending 2.5% or less of their communications budgets on conversational marketing
  • Two-thirds plan to increase their investment in conversation within the next twelve months
  • 57% project that in five years they will be spending more on conversational marketing than traditional marketing
  • 23.8% believe that spending on conversational marketing will be the same as traditional marketing in five years

In total, 81% of all respondents project that by 2012 they will spend at least as much on conversational marketing as traditional marketing.

“The rise of digital media continues to make significant inroads into the mainstream media pie,” said Joseph Jaffe. “Conversational marketing investment will make up the third pillar of the new marketing model.”

The journey ahead will not be without challenges, most notably in the areas of talent and capabilities, change management, research and metrics and organizational dynamics. Respondents noted that the primary obstacles currently preventing them from investing more in conversational marketing include:

“Manpower restraints” – 51.1%

“Fear of loss of control” – 46.9%

“Inadequate metrics” – 45.4%

“Culture of their organizations” – 43.5%

“Difficulty with internal sell-through” – 35.8%

“The results of this research indicate that the industry is currently in a state of cautious experimentation with regard to social media and conversational marketing,” commented Jen McClure, SNCR executive director. “But most organizations seem to be preparing themselves for a significant shift in strategies and resource allocation.”

“This all suggests that over the next few years we will see not only massive budget reallocations, but also tremendous strategic and cultural realignments and organizational shifts,” added Jaffe. “To keep brands fresh, relevant and plugged into the conversation, marketers will need to be proactive in terms of embracing and investing in ongoing, well-structured experimentation.”

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