Retail Marketers Go Social In 2012: Survey Says

While traditional digital marketing methods channels such as search and email still dominate retailers' marketing budgets, a new study sponsored by Bronto Software finds that social and mobile marketing is rapidly growing in importance. The survey asked retailers what mobile and social marketing channels they currently use, and what they plan to start using in the next 12 months. Here's what they found:

  • Facebook: 87 percent use today, 8 percent plan to in next 12 months
  • Twitter: 82 percent use today, 8 percent plan to in next 12 months
  • mCommerce site: 29 percent have one today, 42 percent plan to build one in next 12 months
  • Bar codes/QR codes: 38 percent use today, 31 percent plan to in next 12 months
  • Mobile application: 19 percent use today, 27 percent plan to in next 12 months

Why it matters to your business: You're probably already on Facebook and Twitter, just like almost all other marketers. Where there's likely room for growth is in adding mCommerce and mobile apps. I'm reading mixed advice about QR codes, and while this survey shows a substantial amount of retailers at least exploring them, they're not as essential as mCommerce and mobile apps for actually enabling sales. Tablet use is going to be a big driver for mobile shopping growth in the coming year, so if your retail business hasn't already added apps and mCommerce, now's the time to get a move on.