Maria Tiago and Jose Verissimo attempted to define corporate social media trends in their research from 2014 for Kelley School of Business. Very often researchers focus on understanding the consumer behavior on social media rather than on investigating the corporate behavior in adopting social media as a powerful tool for communication and engagement themselves. Consequently, Maria and Jose analyzed answers from 170 marketers of the largest businesses in Portugal in various industries to outline the primary motivational triggers of the marketers in leveraging online communication strategies.
At the beginning of their study, they provided the evidence of growing importance of social media as a new era communication tool among consumers. So, therefore, it led to how corporate marketing was shifting or supposed to do so that business could follow their customers to market more efficiently.
Next, the article moves to a close analysis of the adoption of digital strategies and impact on the performance of Portuguese companies based on the survey of 170 CMO’s conducted in June and August 2011. According to Eurostat in 2012, Portugal has the Internet penetration rate more than 61%, which indicated for the country to become an appropriate field of research for corporate digital behavior. Analysis of the marketer responses outlined the following benefits of digital presence as the most impactful: “it improves information gathering and feedback (87%), a user-friendly tool (85%), increases knowledge (85%), and promotes internal and external relationships (82%).”
Furthermore, the study exposed the areas of digital marketing and amounts that companies are willing to invest into them. The biggest budget investments are for social network/apps (81%), e-mail marketing (65%), and digital ads (50%). Not only the digital presence will boost but, also, 45% of the surveyed companies intend to increase staff to focus on digital marketing. The study asked to rank success measures according to their importance to evaluate how digital marketing returns its investments. Brand awareness (89%), word-of-mouth buzz (88%), customer satisfaction (87%), user-generated content (80%), and Web analytics (80%) are the most popular metrics.
Maria’s and Jose’s conducted a grand and impressive research as it covers the most crucial parts of the digital marketing: why to market online, where and how much it will cost to advertise and how to measure. The study concludes useful insights for other marketers across the world. While their thorough analysis is robust, it is five years old. Considering how fast digital world is moving forward and how consumers react instantly online, there is a big chance for some changes in the areas of workforce and financial investments into digital marketing to happen. We already can see the tremendous growth of content creation, search engine, and mobile optimizations compared to the study, where these are the least invested and focused areas of digital marketing. Nevertheless, Maria’s and Jose’s work still provided a substantial research to understand the nature of corporate behavior in the new digital world.