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Most B2B marketers have begun using social media and more of them are planning to use "newer media" than ever before, according a new study by BtoB magazine and the Association of National Advertisers, reports BtoB Online.

Nearly two-thirds (66%) of polled marketers said they use social media, up from 20% from two years ago. Among B2B marketers, 57% said they now use social media, up from 15% in 2007.

Blogs topped the list of "newer media" tactics not being used now that B2B as well as B2C plan to use in the next year; next was mobile marketing, already used by most B2C marketers—52%, vs. 18% of B2B marketers, who are also interested in using viral video and podcasts.

The study, "Harnessing the Power of Newer Media Platforms for More Effective Marketing," is based on a survey of 172  B2B and B2C client-side marketers; it updates a similar survey conducted in 2007.

Below, additional highlights from the study, as reported by BtoB.

Facebook is the most popular social-media site overall, but B2B marketers prefer LinkedIn and Twitter:

  • Some 74% of all marketers surveyed said they use Facebook; 60% of B2B marketers said so.
  • However, 8 in 10 B2B marketers (81%) use LinkedIn, vs. 25% of B2C marketers.
  • Twitter also ranked higher among B2B marketers than B2C marketers: 70% vs. 46%.

Social media and newer media platforms are now being viewed as demand-generation rather than brand-building vehicles (likely reflecting the realities of marketing during a recession):

  • Some 47% of marketers said the primary goal of their websites is demand generation, compared with 39% who said so in 2007.
  • Just 34% said brand-building is now the main goal of their websites, compared with 49% in 2007.
  • The primary objective of  social-media use is brand-building, according to 51% of surveyed marketers, compared with 65% two year ago.
  • Just 30% cited demand generation as the primary use of social media, up from 10% in 2007.
  • Viral video's primary purpose is viewed as demand generation by 58% of marketers, compared with 27% two years ago.
  • Only 35% of marketers said viral video is for brand-building, compared with 65% in 2007.

B2B marketers are more likely than B2C marketers to have established processes for measuring newer media, including for all of the following:

  • Mobile: 83% vs. 70%
  • Blogs: 50% vs. 24%
  • Social networks: 44% vs. 32%
  • Viral video: 39% vs. 19%

An inability to determine ROI and the lack of metrics for determining traditional vs. digital media allocation are the top newer-media-related challenges confronting marketers:

  • 44% of B2B marketers and 56% B2C marketers cited proving ROI.
  • 42% of B2B marketers and 49% of B2C marketers cited metrics to determine allocation.

Regarding newer-media spending—and overall marketing spend:

  • 62% of B2B marketers and 71% of B2C marketers said they plan to increase newer-media spending; roughly two in 10 said spending would be nearly the same (23%, B2B; 22%, B2C); 14% of B2B marketers said they would reduce newer-media spend, as did 7% of B2C marketers.
  • However, 49% of B2B marketers and 56% of B2C marketers said their overall spend will be less this year than last.
  • B2C marketers "are much more likely to shift funds from their traditional media budget (78% versus 42%) to fund newer media," writes BtoB.

About the study: The online survey, conducted in June, tabulated the responses of 172 client-side marketers, 77 of them primarily B2B, 41 primarily B2C, and 54 equally both. The full findings will be presented at the "B-to-B Marketing in the New World" conference to be produced by BtoB and the ANA, Aug. 4-5, in Chicago.

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