What are the key takeaways from our social advertising survey data?
We asked our respondents to rank the importance of various advertising channels. The results were extremely favourable to social media versus every other channel - digital display, print, search, and more. Our survey would suggest that in the eyes of advertisers, social media is regarded as one of the more useful routes to market.
Fairly unanimously, our respondents agreed that the biggest obstacles to them doing better in the social advertising channel were insufficient budgets, and a lack of skilled staff. When we consider that most of our respondents also see social advertising as becoming more important in the future, this would suggest that the talent and budget shortfall may become more pronounced.
We noted a link between high spend in social advertising, and high satisfaction with the results achieved in the channel. The question we can't answer is, what came first, the spend or the satisfaction? If you're happy with the results achieved, then you're certainly more likely to spend more - but are you more likely to achieve better results with a bigger budget? Given the dissatisfaction with budget levels across the board in our panel, it's certainly possible.
A significant proportion of our repondents have effectively responded to our survey by saying 'social advertising is really important' and also saying 'we're not very good at it'. Given that social advertising is increasing in importance, and that many of our respondents intend to invest more heavily in the channel, it seems likely that the quality of the results in the channel, and the overrall perception of advertiser ability to maximise results in the channel, will improve over time.
Our respondents agree that the social media advertising channel is growing in strategic importance. A large number of them are responding to that fact with deeper investment in the channel. Social advertising providers (aka social networks) have done a great job of providing products and opportunities that tantalise marketers and give them good results. The impact is that, despite some challenges, advertisers are thinking of the social ad channel in an increasingly strategic way.