Online social marketing results hard to measure

Filed under: Retail |

The popularity of social marketing online is growing, but according to a report by JupiterResearch, budgets aren’t supporting it.
Jupiter’s “Social marketing scorecard: Benchmarking social marketing initiatives” shows that social marketers do not plan to increase budgets in the near future.
This might be because of the limited ways to accurately measure the success of social marketing campaigns.
While many social marketers say they run the campaigns for brand awareness, only 12 percent use brand survey metrics and only 8 percent track results via a professional buzz monitoring service, according to Jupiter.
A larger number measure social marketing campaigns using traditional metrics of direct response, such as clicks, cited by 54 percent of marketers, and sales, cited by 51 percent.
Yet, Jupiter points out, the small budgets for social marketing aren’t out of line with the low cost of producing some social marketing campaigns, such as blogs and podcasts.
Although the budgets are limited, Jupiter’s data indicates that their use will continue to grow among marketers.
According to the report, while 4 percent of marketers who had tried social marketing said they would cease such tactics this year, 42 percent of the marketers surveyed who said that they will engage in social marketing in 2007 are new to the field this year.

Board members elected

Executives from Lord & Taylor, Ann Taylor and ETAM Group have been elected to serve on the National Retail Federation’s board of directors.
Jane Elfers, president and CEO of Lord & Taylor, began her career with Lord & Taylor in 1989 as a buyer and was named president and CEO of the company in June 2000 at the age of 39.
Founded in 1826, Lord & Taylor is America’s oldest department store.
Kay Krill, president and CEO of Ann Taylor Stores Corp., was named CEO in October 2005 after serving as president of the corporation and a member of the board of directors.
Krill is recognized for leading the growth and development of the Ann Taylor LOFT concept.
Her retail career began at Macy’s in 1977 and she spent her early merchandising years at Talbot’s.
Richard Simonin, CEO of European-based ETAM Group, previously served as CEO of Harrods Ltd. and was a chief executive at Pinault-Printemps-Redoute and Louis Vuitton-Moet Hennessy.
ETAM Group, a privately held designer and seller of women’s clothing and lingerie, has more than 1,200 stores around the world.
NRF’s board of directors, comprised of more than 50 industry executives, represent the needs of NRF’s membership, provide strategic and financial advice about the mission, vision and operation of the association and contribute to NRF’s authority in the industry.

Retail sales at outlets and malls

The July 4th holiday saw no big build-up in sales at outlets and malls.
Sales are expected to stay steady until the back-to-school season, which begins in a few weeks and lasts through September.
According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp.’s National Retail Sales Estimate, retail sales for the week ending June 30 increased by 4 percent compared to the same period in 2006.
On a week-over-week comparison, sales for the week ending June 30 were down by a modest 1.4 percent from the previous week, as sales found their normal seasonal level post-Father’s Day.
For the month of June, sales versus last year were up 4.9 percent. Year-over-year sales growth has been positive for 23 of 26 weeks in 2007.
Developed by ShopperTrak, the NRSE provides a nationwide benchmark of retail sales. It is derived from the U.S. Commerce Department’s GAFO (general merchandise, apparel, furniture, sporting goods, electronics, hobby, books and other related store sales) statistics, as well as ShopperTrak’s industry intelligence about shopper traffic and sales statistics.
With more than 45,000 units installed in the world’s best known retail outlets and malls, ShopperTrak’s solutions also provide a proven means for retailers to gauge labor efficiencies, advertising and marketing efforts, store design and remodeling programs, merchandise changes, associate training programs and other budget-intensive strategic initiatives.

Veterans in business pavilion

The National Retail Federation continues to create opportunities for veteran-owned businesses.
In partnership with the U.S. Army, the U.S. General Services Administration and the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, NRF will have a “Veterans in Business Pavilion” at its 2008 annual convention, Jan. 13 to 16 in New York City.
To support the pavilion contact Tami Sakell, director exhibit sales at (202) 661 3044 or sakellt@nrf.com.
The goal is to maintain a strong U.S. industrial base by fostering entrepreneurship and business opportunities for veteran-owned businesses through commercial opportunities within the retail industry.
Joan Johnson covers retail for the Colorado Springs Business Journal.