Have you Heard?

July 22, 2010

By Guest Blogger Lisa Neary

The digital landscape is changing. That was no clearer than after hearing Geoff Ramsey, CEO, Co-Founder eMarketer present at the ANA Digital and Social Media Conference last week. The downturned economy has decreased traditional media spend almost 20 percent. Marketers are being asked to do more with less and that has meant shifting discretionary dollars to digital initiatives.

With more than 57 percent of the U.S. population participating in social media, many companies are attempting to leverage this space, but there is still confusion as marketers wonder if it is overrated. That is shocking considering that Geoff did note that only 10 percent of companies are effectively measuring the success of their social media programs.

While it still may be premature to tell, that fact is this: with a 60/40 split in terms of companies using social media to those not, you are behind the curve if you are at least exploring how to create an authentic dialogue with your audience and more importantly, you are at a severe competitive disadvantage if you are not listening to the buzz about your company, products or services across social media platforms.

With a growing number of tools out there for "listening" to what your customers have to say, there's no excuse to not be taking advantage of this resource. This valuable information is readily available and, more importantly, free. Whether it's listening to which words they use to describe your product or brand or gaining a better understanding about their interests, intentions, real or perceived problems, the insights gained from harvesting this information can have a drastic effect on your messaging, product development and marketing strategy.

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