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72% of professionals see social media as a more reliable source of public sentiment than traditional focus groups

More than two-thirds (70 per cent) of digital marketing and advertising professionals say they now consider social media to be crucial for advertising success, research from Crimson Hexagon has found.

The survey found that 72 per cent now consider social media to be a more reliable source of public sentiment than traditional user or focus groups. However, when asked about each of the research methods their brand or agency currently uses, only 16 per cent said they use social media monitoring, while 13 per cent use social media analysis.

It was found that 77 per cent of brand marketers say they do not invest enough in this area, while 68 per cent of advertising agencies admit there just isn’t enough investment by agencies.

Curt Bloom, president for Crimson Hexagon, said: "Social media is the world's largest focus group, with millions of consumers regularly sharing their honest and candid opinions online. No brand or organisation can afford to overlook such a rich source of feedback, ideas and opportunities to engage with customers and prospects.

“These survey findings reveal that while many industry professionals are aware of the value of social analytics, it’s not in widespread practice. The awareness and influence of social sentiment is undeniable, and what is needed now is investment in the tools capable of extracting raw data, giving it meaning and context, and harnessing it to develop better business decisions.”

The strongest response in the survey of 170 professionals related to fresh opportunities presented by social media, with 93 per cent of brands and agencies stating that social media now offers unprecedented opportunities for marketing and product development to collaborate and react to consumer feedback.