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less than one-third of marketers have a strong understanding of social media conversations happening around their brand

Alterian’s 8th annual marketer survey indicates that although digital marketing expenditures are anticipated to increase in 2011, consumer engagement levels and analytical competency are still limited across channels

London, UK – 20 January 2011 – Alterian (LSE: ALN), the leader in customer engagement technology and solutions, today announced the results of its 8th annual survey that polled nearly 1,500 marketers, agencies, marketing service providers and systems integrators from across the globe. This year’s topic, “How Engaged is Your Brand?” examined marketing expenditure, social media measurement and the level of personalization across digital channels.

Findings showed less than one-third of marketers have a strong understanding of social media conversations happening around their brand. In fact, seven in 10 indicated they either have very little to no understanding (31 percent) or use a few ad-hoc tools to track and measure social media conversations (39 percent).

Nearly 80 percent admit they are concerned their brand is at risk from not being as engaged with customers, or failing to have a good grasp of how online conversations are impacting their brand. The majority say they recognize the problem areas and are taking actions to rectify them, such as dedicating a larger portion of the marketing budget toward the social/digital space to gain the necessary resources for increased message customization across web, email and social media.

However, a large portion of marketers appear to be limited in analytical competency, indicating they either have no analytical experience concerning digital media (6 percent), stop at the basic analytical level (29 percent) or struggle to tie analytics back to the campaign strategy (28 percent).

“The Alterian survey results show the majority of brands lack direction on what exactly to measure and analyze, how to go about it, and how to utilize that information to continually improve on their marketing efforts,” said David Eldridge, CEO of Alterian. “It’s crucial for marketers to seek guidance and the right tools in order to develop a strategic plan that allows them to fully engage with customers across channels. One of the first steps in this process is knowing how to create more personalized interactions via e-mail, social media and even with web visitors.”

The Need for Marketing Personalization

According to the Alterian survey, the vast majority of marketers focus on creating a customized brand experience for at least one channel – website, direct mail, email, social media – with only 9 percent admitting to not personalizing any channel.
One-third use their company website as a corporate brochure, while more than half (55 percent) concentrate on offers and campaigns to specifically drive website interaction. Yet only a small number of marketers (11 percent) tailor each website visitor’s experience.

“These figures indicate that a mass marketing strategy is still considered the norm by many,” continued Eldridge. “There is still much room to improve both website and email engagement strategy through message customization, particularly based on individual preferences and needs rather than a particular segment. However, marketers seem slightly more advanced when it comes to email, understanding the importance of targeted interaction in this channel.”

Forty-three percent say they use some type of segmentation strategy to deliver specific email messages to each audience, although only a small portion (13 percent) deliver emails based on preferences at the individual customer level, monitored in real-time.

Anticipated 2011 Marketing Budget

About half of survey respondents project that overall marketing expenditure will increase slightly (5-25 percent) over the next year, and an additional 9 percent saying it will increase greatly (25 percent or more). This suggests an opportunity for industry growth throughout 2011.

Similarly, three in four estimate their social/digital marketing expenditure will increase over the next year. Of those, one quarter project it will increase by 25 percent or more. The estimated growth for this sector of the marketing budget is indicative that digital will drive general marketing growth in the coming year.

To download the full results of Alterian’s Eighth Annual Survey, visit www.alterian.com/AnnualSurvey.

About Alterian

Alterian (LSE: ALN) enables organizations to create relevant, effective and engaging experiences with their customers and prospects through social, digital, and traditional marketing channels. Alterian’s Customer Engagement solutions are focused in four main areas: Social Media, Web Content Management, Email, and Campaign Management & Analytics.

Alterian technology is utilized either to address a specific marketing challenge or as part of an integrated marketing platform, with analytics and customer engagement with the individual at the heart of everything. Working alongside a rich ecosystem of partners, Alterian delivers its software as a service or on premise. For more information about Alterian visit www.alterian.com or the Alterian blog at www.engagingtimes.com.

For more information, contact:

Jamie Foote
Bite Communications
0208 834 3402
jamie.foote@bitecommunications.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Bite Communications in the following categories: Business & Finance, Media & Marketing, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.