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Social media and advertising: reality is not like marketers see it

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Observing a girl’s expression when reading one of his books, the Italian writer Ignazio Silone thought that writers focus too much on other writers’ opinions and not enough on readers’.

Nowadays it’s social marketers who don’t always manage to interpret the way people perceive advertising strategies: this aspect was recently highlighted by a study specifically conducted by Adobe on a sample of 1,250 US adults, 20% of whom were marketers.

The study showed a certain discrepancy between the answers provided by marketers on the one hand and by consumers on the other. Reality is not like social marketers wish it was or – even worse – take for granted (also because social users are less naïve than what one might generally think). This is why often ads appear invasive rather than involving, and in general the acceptance and the efficacy of messages don’t match expectations.

For instance, consumers tend to click “like” on a company’s page or product much less than marketers who work in the sector. Only 2% of consumers consider that a content posted on the corporate page of a social network is credible. And only 2% would buy a product because a friend clicked “like” on the page; also, 29% would visit the page, while 35% wouldn’t.

Therefore, according to the study marketers should occasionally be humble enough to put themselves in the shoes of consumers: there would be an inevitable economic return. Ann Lewnes, chief marketing officer with Adobe, said: «The web, and especially social media, provide huge opportunities, but marketers like us still have not fully exploited them».


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