An article in the latest issue of the Journal of Advertising Research suggests that “agencies primarily use social media as a tool for understanding consumers and igniting insight, not as a means of testing creative ideas.” Other findings from a Delphi panel of advertising practitioners:
- “Practitioners strongly agreed (87 percent) that social-media research should be managed by an agency’s planning department and implemented in the same way as traditional research—used in the strategic-development process to help discover consumer and market insights.”
- 92% of panelists believe that social media research should never be used as the only means of testing creative material.
- While there was a strong consensus on social media research having risks similar to those of traditional research, there were risks identified as unique to this tool: the lack of control, failure to respond, and popularity possibly not equating to effectiveness. “Sometimes advertising must do work that will not be voted most popular on YouTube this week. Advertising is not made to make people laugh and share with each other; it is made for a commercial reason. Sometimes it is possible to do both, other times it is not.”
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