Friday, February 19, 2010

Social Media vs Email

The rapid onset and growth of social media into prominent fixtures in our daily lives is remarkable, but it hasn’t replaced e-mail as the preferred method of receiving B2B information.  People now have the ability to connect to peers using a variety of networks like Twitter and Facebook from their cell-phones, and many of the millions of cellular phone customers do so.   It makes sense that B2B companies looking to sell products or services have also taken to advertising using social media.

A recent survey published by Marketing Sherpa showed that 18% of marketers believed that their customers viewed social networks as their preferred medium for receiving information about products and services.  However marketers looking to get ahead of the competition may have jumped on the social media bandwagon a bit too soon.  The same study showed that only 12% of buyers valued social networks as their primary source for new product or service information.  The majority of both marketers and buyers agree that an internet search is the best way to obtain this new data, but what was the buyers’ second choice?

E-mail, was the favored method for receiving new product or service information for 32% of the surveyed buyers.  The rise of online searches and social media may have caused marketers to write email off as an obsolete method for communicating with customers – only 20% of marketers surveyed believed that buyers preferred receiving product or service related emails.  The success of social networks does not necessarily signify the death of email as a marketing tool. In fact, email is still considered the most targeted and measurable medium. While social media is a good source for gathering general information and finding facts, email motivates action.


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