With all the emphasis on social media marketing (SMM) and its place in the marketing world, there are those who will probably clutch their heads and howl if they are told that social media is not the driving force behind sales. However, a new study from Forrester called “The Purchase Path of Online Buyers in 2012” says just that. Instead of social media, the report found that the most effective tools driving sales are email marketing and search marketing. Imagine the chaos that will ensue when this news hits the social media gurus!
This Can’t Be True, Can It?
There has been so much hype about social media that many people just will not believe this statement without hard numbers. Forrester has thoughtfully put those together.
For repeat customers who bought with one touchpoint event, 13 percent were brought in by email marketing. Another 20 percent were lured by direct website visits. Even for two or more touchpoint visitors, 17 percent cited email as the originating factor of their visit. For new customers, paid search mattered most in terms of initial draw.
You will notice that social media did not rank in the top of these numbers. In fact, social media are not meaningful sales drivers according to the Forrester study.
Bulletproof Digital uses a variety of tactics including email marketing and search engine optimization to give you control over your most powerful advertising tactics.
Let’s Be Real about Social Media
There are two conflicting facts in evidence here. First: social media is very popular. Second: “old-fashioned” email seems to be driving sales. What is happening?
Social media is still somewhat in its infancy and, as with anything new, it will take time to grow into its real place in marketing. As soon as next year, these figures could change. But many people still see social media as a “fun” and relaxing hobby, not a serious way to find good bargains. However, email has been around long enough that plenty of people find it indispensable in their lives. After all, you probably know people who do not “do” Facebook, but how many people do you know who do not have an email account?
What Does This Mean for My Marketing Strategy?
Do not throw in the towel on social media. It is still changing and growing, and as new ways of using it are implemented, you are likely to begin seeing the sales results you want. It can still be a developmental part of your marketing strategy and may be great for targeting certain demographic groups. In the meantime, though, be sure you are using the basics in a smart way. Do not give up on the “old gray mare” of email and paid search just yet: they can still be a key part of your marketing strategy.
Bulletproof Digital can help you discover all the ways you can take advantage of email, paid search marketing, and other forms of web marketing to bring customers to your business and keep them there.