Cover Story: The Big Qs of 2012
Goodman echoes Brayfield and others we interviewed when she says, "using social media for the sake of being able to check it off your list and tell management 'we're using social media,' is as useless as the time spent on the randomness of your efforts."
But despite the misgivings and challenges, there is a great deal of potential in social media, and some marketers see prospects of a new kind of marketing in the channel.
"The most exciting development I have seen in recent years is the transformation in the power of consumers," says Roman. "Marketers only succeed if they satisfy the needs of consumers."
4. Do You Acknowledge Mobile?
"It's become a cliché to say that mobile has arrived, but with almost 50 percent smartphone penetration, it really has," says Kimmel. "Direct marketing has always been about right message, right time, right place. But now, we can deliver against that maxim in new, transformational ways."
What does that mean for your marketing? For one, Brady suggests significant changes to your email program: "It's likely that 20 percent of B-to-B emails are read on mobile, and estimates are that 16 percent of consumers are reading on mobile," she says. "Email design has to change, since many mobile environments do a lackluster job at rendering. Shorten the width of your template, put the most important content or offers on the left and raise font sizes. Remember that mobile users who want to interact with your call-to-action button need enough space around the button so that their fingers can click."
"Mobile usage rates are skyrocketing," says Perkins, "and tablets, in particular, seem to have clear value as real business tools in many vertical markets. Something fundamental and important is going on in mobile. It's just a question of how to best address it."