2009 Top Marketing Trends – Social media conflicts

The Marketing Executives Networking Group (MENG) released the second annual Top Marketing Trends, conducted by Anderson Analytics, and they discovered what I think are conflicting results.

High ranking marketing muckity mucks are renewing their focus on the basics and are sick of hearing about the Web 2.0. 

Huh. That's kind of silly. How can you be sick of something that will help you extend the basics and give you more oomph?


Survey says!

First, here are some of the highpoints of the survey.

Half of the 653 respondents believe their marketing budgets will be cut in 2009, 38% think their budgets will remain untouched, and 11% think their budgets will increase.  More than 2/3 of respondents think their budgets for marketing research will stay the same or grow during the year.

Alright, drum roll please.  Here are the 2009 top marketing trends according to MENG:

  • Customer Satisfaction 79%.
  • Customer Retention 76%.
  • Marketing ROI 65%.
  • Brand Loyalty 61%.
  • Segmentation 61%.
  • Quality 56%.

And what are MENGers most tired of hearing about?

  • Web 2.0 19.4%.
  • Social Networking 12.2%.
  • Social Media 11.3%.
  • Blogging 7.9%.

And lastly, who are the who the MENGers are focused on?

  • Baby boomers 78% (5% higher than 2008)
  • Gen Xers 53% (13% higher than 2008)
  • Gen Yers 52% (11% higher than 2008)


The conflicting results

Okay.  Let’s review.  Half of marketeers expect to have their marketing budgets chop fu’d so they’re going to have to get creative about satisfying and retaining customers with less money.  But their tired of hearing about Web 2.0 and social media which is a dandy way of stretching their tight marketing dollars.

The buzz words that shall not be named, so no one gets bored, are strategies that can help your company:

  1. Gain position in organic searches,
  2. Give you outreach to prospects and customers,
  3. Inform and inspire your prospects and customers,
  4. Gather real-world marketing intelligence from folks actually using your products, wanting to, or considering the possibility of doing so.


Here’s the thing…

Web 2.0 and social media isn’t the end all be all.  They’re just tools.  Think of it this way, it’s not the magic wand that actually makes magic.  It’s the magician behind the wand and the wand itself provides the means to focus.  And that’s social media.

And look at the demographics.  The Gen Xers may have built up the web but the Gen Yers are the group taking it to a high art form. Given all this, then marketeers are going to have a tough time if you’re sick of something that’s here to stay, like rock and roll, and is likely to get even bigger over time.

Here’s the thing, though.  Not all all social media formats will work for all companies.  Not all companies will find Twitter and MySpace apropo to their market.  That’s especially true if your company has a B2B focus.

Social media outlets are diverse.  Find what’s right for your company, leverage it and measure your results and determine the ROI – just like you do, or should do, for every other marketing initiative you execute.