Report: Social Attracting Most Widespread Investment from Advertisers, Topping Search

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Move aside, Google. According to the results of a new survey, released by the advertising management firm Marin Software just this morning, nine-in-10 advertising professionals are investing in social media in 2018, beating the next most popular channel—YouTube/Google Display—by more than 10 percentage points.

In surveying 500 B2B and B2C advertising professionals across the retail, automotive, travel, and financial sectors, Marin Software found that social is among the fastest growing channels, with 70% of advertisers expecting to increase their spending on social in the coming year.

Paid social media appears to be popular with advertisers for two main reasons: its reach and its flexibility. With around one-third of the global population now using social media, and nearly one-quarter having Facebook accounts, social media is now considered a one-stop shop for advertisers who are interested in reaching large numbers of consumers online.

Survey results aren’t the only big announcement coming from Marin Software this morning. The company is using the release of its State of Digital Advertising Report to debut an entirely new digital advertising platform, dubbed MarinOne.

“MarinOne enables marketers to bridge the gaps and blind spots across search, social, and e-commerce to drive results and make the most of their digital advertising spend,” says Wesley MacLaggan, senior vice president of marketing at Marin Software. “The centralized platform delivers significant performance gains over traditional single-channel management tools, allowing marketers to integrate all digital advertising data in one place, align campaigns across publishers to maximize ROI, and amplify publisher tools to drive the best possible results—all under a flat platform fee.”

Marin’s new platform has been developed to meet a number of the demands that B2B and B2C advertisers cited as challenges in the company’s annual report. For example, a separate survey by Marin found that customers who interact with both search and social are two times more likely to convert. With MarinOne, marketers can jointly manage these two marketing channels with the goal of maximizing returns from their digital advertising investments.

“While many advertisers continue to run their search and social campaigns separately, we’re looking ahead to a future where ad management tools are unified across channels. We believe that this unified vision represents the true future of performance marketing, as the customer journey flows across publishers, devices, and ad formats,” MacLaggan says. “Our customers can continue to run their search and social campaigns separately on Marin, and migrate over to the unified MarinOne platform once they are ready.”

Taking a siloed approach to marketing leaves money on the table, explains MacLaggan, and relying on publisher tools for attribution metrics is akin to asking Facebook or Google to grade their own exams. With MarinOne, Marin Software is aiming to providing customers with data to make smarter decisions on which channels are providing the greatest return on investment.

With 44% of advertisers in Marin’s new survey saying they feel that the increased dominance of Facebook and Google will impact their businesses above all other trends in the coming year, and many advertisers saying they don’t have the expertise required to deliver successful social campaigns, particularly when it comes to attributing ROI, the company is hoping that the launch of MarinOne will be enough to enact change across the cross-channel landscape.

“Google, Facebook, and Amazon have their own metrics and reporting capabilities that don’t necessarily speak to each other. MarinOne ensures that these channels are working together as effectively as possible,” MacLaggan says. “Marketers now have the ability to drive continuously refined results from a consolidated, cross-channel dashboard that lets them see and compare performance across search, social, and e-commerce sites.”

Stephanie Miles is a senior editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.