May 04, 2011

Maybe Social Media Isn't Magic

The great thing about being a blogger these days is that there are now so many ponderous studies about so many piddling subjects, you can pick your way through them to prove just about anything.

Today I'm going to prove how smart I am by referencing a study by Forrester Research (whose research I never trust except when it vindicates my prejudices) and GSI Commerce ("Take advantage of our leading e-commerce, multichannel retailing and interactive marketing services on a modular basis or engage us to support your end-to-end operations.") Yeah, I'll get right on that.

A few days ago these two issued a report about the effectiveness of social media in generating retail sales during the holiday season last year. Here's what Mashable had to say about the study:
"All those marketers who are rushing to increase their social media spend take note: A new study says social media has almost no influence on online purchasing behavior."
What?! But consumers want to have conversations with marketers! They want relationships with brands! They want to engage with us! Don't these people know that the consumer is now in charge!? This report can't be right! What the hell is going on here?
"The report found email and search advertising were much more effective vehicles for turning browsers into buyers."
Hmmm...seems I've heard that somewhere before.
(Fiona Dias, executive vice president of strategy and marketing for GSI Commerce) says she isn’t surprised by the survey’s results because she’s been telling retail clients for some time that social media outreach is a waste of time and money. Says Dias: “It’s been a mystery to me why the media is excited about social media. From a retail and commerce perspective, it seems to have no effect.”
Oh, c'mon Fiona, you old dinosaur. Don't you read the news? Social media is magic. Just ask any CMO.

No comments: