Consumers today are connecting with brands in fundamentally new ways, as more and more of them are actively participating in sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and soon to be Google+1. Yet companies are still very slow to adopt this media into their marketing strategies.
A recent survey by Jive Software and Penn, Schoen & Berland found 78% of executives thought a social business strategy was somewhat or very important to the future success of their business. Yet most are still only in the beginning stages of making their social strategy a priority. Only 27% listed social business as a top strategic priority in 2011 and half admitted a social plan was necessary but not a strategic priority.
While no one is suggesting companies abandon their past marketing activities for a social only strategy; they need to consider revising their marketing mix to reflect this new age of interaction. And they need to do this sooner rather than later. The Harvard Business Review had a great article this last December called Branding in the Digital Age: You’re Spending You Money in All the Wrong Places, where it demonstrates how the consumer decision journey has dramatically shifted in past five years; altering how they buy products and services. However, companies still continue to embrace outdated marketing strategies and thus aren’t keeping up with their customer’s buying habits.
Due to this slow pace of social media integration, the gap between consumer’s adoption of social media and corporation’s ability to integrate social into their marketing mix seems to be widening. The question for companies today is; how long are you willing to continue allowing this gap to grow before your market share begins to erode. As small businesses, startups, entrepreneurs, consultants, and agencies begin to utilize social media to get an edge on their competition, you’ll start seeing some larger companies lose their footing.