Social Influence Marketing: Recap of the Fluent Report

July 17, 2009Sparxoo


Razorfish, a large branding and marketing firm, recently released a comprehensive report analyzing social media influence. Fluent, the Social Influence Marketing report, takes aim at the many myths about on and off-line marketing. Razorfish sheds light on areas of branding and marketing, with key research and insights, that have long been uncharted.

Through a survey with 1,000 N. American consumers and six months of social conversational data, Razorfish takes a deep dive in social media and the effectiveness of brands to break through into the digital world. Though the study recognizes the power of TV, it also illustrates the rising influence of social media on the decision making process.

Upfront, Razorfish reinforces key concepts that have permeated the marketing and branding world for some time now. The report recognizes the significance of the push / pull dynamic, which is increasingly straying away from push, and how consumers are their own Private Eyes. Furthermore, Razorfish’s report stresses the importance of key influencers and reviewers in communities both online and off.

The report is one of the first of its kind and serves as a springboard for further research and investigation. Fluent lays the groundwork to ask more interesting questions in the future. While Razorfish develops overarching conclusions based on their research, brand managers and digital marketers could use Razorfish’s  metrics to ask more questions to develop granular insights.

Authenticity and the Importance of Buzz

The majority of consumers don’t think any form of advertising is particularly authentic, according to the Fluent report.  Print and TV perform best on authenticity today, with approximately 40% believing they are authentic forms of communicating the message.  Other advertising media (i.e. radio, mobile, banners, blogs, social media) perform even worse.  This reinforces the importance of buzz, word-of-mouth and influencers.  In fact, the most powerful form of building trust is through friendships offline.  As marketers consider campaigns, they should be thinking not only of social media and online activities, but also how to bring these to bear in the real world.  Publicity and guerilla marketing are two forms of marketing that deserve more attention in this environment.

Emergence of Social Networking as a Marketing Platform

Today, TV advertising has increased a mere 0.1% while internet media has grown 4.6%, according TNS. Even though TV advertising has been around for about 60 years, whereas social media has only really taken off in the past 10 years, social media is gaining ground quickly.  While Razorfish’s report suggests that social media has not yet eclipsed traditional TV advertising on a number of metrics, it appears to be a viable marketing channel, and it may prove more effective at delivering impact on smaller budgets.