Driven by Social Networking, Retailers' "Owned Media" Set to Rival Paid Media for Primacy

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Media Logic’s Audit of 100 National Retailers Tracks Phenomenal Growth of Facebook as a Platform for Branding and Social Promotions

It is not hyperbole to say that Facebook may be to this century what TV was to the last.

Media Logic has published the results of a two-month study tracking the social media marketing efforts of 100 national retailers. The study offers concrete marketing recommendations for retailers as well as a general observation about the nature and potential of “owned media” as the primary marketing channel.

For many retailers, Facebook has become the hub of a web of brand-owned properties that spider out to microsites, apps, commerce sites, blogs, as well as to the physical stores and events. “In 2010, owned media came of age, and is now set to rival paid media for primacy,” said Ronald Ladouceur, Executive Vice President and Executive Creative Director of Media Logic. “It is not hyperbole to say that Facebook may be to this century what TV was to the last.”

Media Logic, a nationally recognized agency specializing in marketing for a social world, audited 100 United States retailers in their social marketing strategies between July and September of 2010, including the absolute and relative growth of the fan and follower bases of these retailers. The report focuses on four retail sectors: specialty apparel, specialty hardlines, department/discount, and recreation (sports/hobby/crafts).

In 2009, only Victoria’s Secret and its PINK division could boast a Facebook fan-base of more than 1 million “likers.” By the end of September 2010, another 14 brands surpassed the 1 million mark, with several more joining since. The retailers surveyed by Media Logic with 1 million or more Facebook likers averaged nearly 40 percent growth between mid-July and mid-September. The top-10 retailers in Specialty Apparel averaged close to 50 percent growth.

“It used to be that retailers could only reach their customers with such efficiency through traditional media channels. That paradigm is being turned on its ear as we speak,” said Ladouceur.

In addition to examining the reach of retailers’ social media networks’ owned media, the retail audit report also examines the various sectors’ strategies in content marketing in order to attract a following, and the evolution and maturation of the management styles of the networks.

“In order to attract a follower or liker, a brand offers something in trade. Sometimes that can be as simple as a discount. Other times it’s more ethereal, such as insider access, self-promotion or association with a cause,” said Ladouceur. “And once that customer is part of the network, retailers have decisions to face as to how these relationships will be managed. We’re finding that more retailers are warming to the idea that a brand does not need to lay itself bare to be social. The notion that social marketing needs to be an open pipe of two-way communication is becoming a little antiquated.”

For more information on the retail social media study:

About Media Logic
Media Logic is a nationally recognized agency specializing in marketing for a social world: branding, owned media, online community development, dynamic campaign management and social promotions. We create integrated strategies that drive awareness, engage customers and increase ROI.

Media Contact:
Jason Jansky
Downing Street Communications
(303) 748-3300


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