Social media use is on the rise – did you know by how much?
In the last decade, the number of people who have made social media use a part of their daily lives has really grown. The number of active users on the top 5 social media sites are incredible. Just look at the following numbers for the top 5 platforms in November 2014:
- Twitter: 284,000,000 users
- LinkedIn: 332,000,000 users
- Google+: 343,000,000 users
- QZone: 645,000,000 users
- Facebook: 1,350,000,000 users
These users use social media on a regular basis, and many (if not most) do so from their mobile devices. With these numbers, many people are already trying to convert as many of these users into customers as possible. That said, traditional marketing methods aren’t the way to capture this client base. It’s a new paradigm, and so, new strategies are needed. Before getting into that, we need to see the lay of the land!
Pew Research found that 90% of American adults owned cell phones. 58% of them owned smartphones. Those are amazing numbers on their own. When that figure is broken down by age, we see something even more impressive: 98% of individuals between the ages of 18-29 had a cell phone. Thanks to this, there’s a whole generation of people who stay connected to social media all the time.
What’s the impact on business?
There are, in fact, four business-specific trends that are emerging from all this:
- Ever more companies and organizations are analysing big data to gain advantages;
- Chief Marketing Officers (CMOs) will spend more on IT than CIOs; and
- Marketing budgets are growing faster than IT budgets.
Let’s look at those last two points for a second. On a practical level, that means that a huge segment of IT spend is now in the hands (or under the control) of marketing units and CMOs. The numbers tell the story:
- In 2011, B2B/B2C marketing budgets were 10% of revenues; IT budgets were 3.6% of revenues;
- In 2012, marketing budgets were expected to grow 9%; IT budgets only 4.7%; and
- Marketing influences almost half of all IT purchases!
How is that money being spent?
Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) spend 46% of their marketing budgets on internet and mobile marketing. It’s a broad split though.
- 24% of SMBs spend less than 10% of their budgets on internet and mobile marketing.
- Another 28% spend over 70%!
- It all averages out to a cost of $400/month on digital marketing; either way, it adds up because SMB output makes up over half of the Canadian economy! There are a lot of SMBs!
So, how are companies doing this newer form of marketing? Part of it is still “traditional” – there’s a lot of content creation, and that doesn’t come free. Firms also invest in modern software tracking tools which:
- Allow companies to see whether their ads have been delivered and seen, and on what platform (tablets, smartphones, or others) the ads have been posted
- Track interactions between potential customers and company-created material such as:
- eBooks and whitepapers
What does this all mean?
Well, for a start, many changes are needed. Internally, marketing and IT departments must learn to work together if they haven’t done so already. Like it or not, their roles are getting more intertwined. And by working together, more gets done much more quickly, raising the ROI. It’s also a chance for both functions to learn from each other and grow. Many benefits flow from this collaboration:
- Alignment of interests: Both functions now have a shared vision for the company – they’re no longer siloed off!
- Operational efficiency: There’s now less duplication of tasks!
- More to invest: Saved funds can now be used elsewhere.
- IT spend now fully drives revenues: There’s a more direct view of how IT spend can pull in leads and help Sales efforts.
New strategies also emerge. Companies can now have real-time ‘conversations’ with clients. By that, I mean this: Content that is created by Marketing in response to trending topics found by both departments is delivered by IT. It’s a faster, more personalized approach to engaging with clients and potential customers. In order to pull this off, certain things must be in place. There has to be an easy high-level view of everything you own, along with a way to efficiently interact with it all – how else would you maximize your responsiveness?
Here at Cimpl, we created a framework that helps put those important pieces in place for the marketer and IT worker (and every other job function). We call it the Enterprise Digital Footprint, and it puts all technology assets and services in one place. It lets you work smarter by helping you and your company easily keep better track of all your assets so that you can do a better job with chargebacks. It all saves you money, which can then be put to better use elsewhere.
You can contact us at Cimpl for a demo of our software, Cimpl, which was created to help you easily manage your IT and Telecom assets in your workplace. As Canada’s leader in IT and telecom expense management we have been helping give companies greater visibility over all their IT and telecom assets for more than a decade now. We’re confident we can help you! The world is changing, why not make that transition easier with the right solution for your company!