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Is the future of marketing social? Few today would argue that social media marketing is going away any time soon, and the most bullish suggest that social is going to increasingly displace traditional marketing spend.
But are the bulls right? If a new study is any indication, not exactly.
iTunes is perhaps the best friend of countless music fans. It's easy to forget about the days in which you had to purchase an entire CD just to get one song, now thanks to Apple's service, millions of consumers today buy their music à la carte.
That's not to say that Apple and its record label partners don't want consumers to purchase albums.
To that end, Apple has for some time offered a 'Complete My Album' option that allows iTunes users that have purchased an individual track from an album to purchase the entirealbum at a discounted price.
A year and a half ago, Google announced Google TV, an initiative that, on the surface, looked like it had the potential to finally deliver the television-web convergence that has been envisioned for so long.
Trying to bringing the power of the internet, along with its own Android platform, to the small screen, "might be one of the most important things the company has attempted", I wrote at the time. And for a short while, it seemed to be off to a promising start.
Social media is the new water cooler, and because of that, it's no surprise that the relationship between social media and the entertainment world is increasingly starting to resemble a marriage.
The latest example of that: Twitter's new partnership with The X Factor USA.
Television and social media are a match made in Hollywood. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are virtual watercoolers, and when something happens on television, you'll increasingly find that the conversation is taking place online.
This, for obvious reasons, creates numerous opportunities for the creators and distributors of television programming, and many television networks, producers and personalities are actively tapping into social media.
A few years ago, skepticism about social media was rampant.
While skepticism remains, there does seem to be a general consensus amongst marketers and business executives that social media is important, even if it's still overhyped by some.
But just how important is social media? Can social media prolificacy, for instance, convince media buyers to buy ads for television programs that aren't killing it in the ratings department?
When media buyers purchase inventory from television networks, they typically rely heavily on Gross Rating Point (GRP) metrics which are designed to reflect reach.
And for good reason: if you're buying media to get in front of consumers, you need to know how many consumers you can reach through various media channels and properties.
One company, Nielsen, dominates the television market, and its GRPs heavily influence how billions upon billions of dollars are spent each year.
Needless to say, the stakes are high and any mistakes could have a notable impact.
When it comes to the mediums that it plays in, Google could sit back and remain content with its strong position on the desktop and mobile devices.
But as successful as it is, the company stiill sees opportunity to create a bigger footprint.
One of the mediums in which it's hoping its footprint can extend: television.
Most major media companies have accepted that digital is here to stay, and many are embracing digital, recognizing that it could some day soon be their most important channel.
But that doesn't mean that they have stopped making poor digital decisions.
We recently asked marketers whether TV was still necessary for reaching the masses. They disagreed with that idea by a large margin...but are they right? How do digital and TV match up when scale is the number one variable?
Executives are frequently encouraged to adopt a multichannel approach to business because, they’re told, doing so will produce a result that’s greater than the sum of its parts. but is this really the case?
If any industry can prove that you can put two channels together in interesting ways and produce powerful results, it’s the television industry, which is increasingly finding a variety of ways to embrace an ever-social internet.
Are demographics dead? Will marketers eventually buy most if not all media inventory, including television inventory, on performance-based models instead?
Executives from agency Initiative think so.