Social Media Vs. Pricing Intelligence? Research suggests social media won't drive ROI

Posted by Shipra Dubey on Thu, 27 Nov 2014 11:43:02 GMT

Social Media Vs. Pricing Intelligence? Research suggests social media won't drive ROI

In today’s hyper-connected world of e-commerce, tapping into the Web’s stream of real-time data is absolutely essential to optimizing product positioning. There are hundreds of ways how your customer could find you or not find you. Thus when people might ask you why pay for marketing when the results are not guaranteed. The answer to this is, if the right branding is done your chances of being found by your prospective client increases, social presence gives you more credibility and all this eventually help you gain what you need the most- Sales. On the other hand pricing intelligence is a must follow practice if you want to increase sales and maximize profits. It gives you the rules and data points to respond to the market changing prices. Pricing intelligence could surely help you increase revenue as it helps you to attract the price sensitive customer pool.

While this is true, we also have to understand that the reason that so many executives are asking about the ROI of social media is because over the years a lot of marketers have wasted a lot of money on “marketing” that doesn’t do anything except make agencies happy. Marketing, which includes social marketing as well, is a process of decreasing the time, money, and resources required to communicate with customers and making it easy for them to buy products and services. The more efficient your marketing is, the more profit you make. That’s the reason why you want to optimize for. By defining marketing as a function of profits, you create a new perception within your organization about the value of marketing. Pricing intelligence helps you timely understand the market and the competition, makes you well aware of the dynamism of pricing and thus make the right pricing strategy. Thus if you have a competitive pricing the revenue increases vice versa.

If your social media activity doesn’t deliberately drive ROI, it probably won’t accidentally result in any. Talking about that, it does not mean that accumulating likes on your Facebook posts or acquiring twitter followers will get you more business, but it can surely get you more business if with the likes and the followers you have a plan too. The calculation of the ROI of Social media is a complex process until you realize that only financial outcomes are relevant to an ROI calculation. Non-financial outcomes like number of followers, web visitors, or share of conversation do not apply.

All the top technology vendors, from IBM to Oracle and Microsoft to name a few are fully committed to maintaining a permanent presence in the social media. Though nobody is going to purchase Coke because of their Facebook page but Starbucks uses their social media to drive loyalty with consumers as it talks about issues that are important to them as well as new products. While paying for television advertising, you would definitely get the Branding needed but you can’t really know who paid attention to that ad, while social media advertising gives you the analytics needed, feedback from the customers and builds your relationship with the client base. Just that it needs time to show the results, and social media should not be treated as a direct marketing tool or some sort of silver bullet that will drive sales through the roof. Most companies aren’t willing to leverage social media because they don’t believe it can make them more money. For them the below stats might be helpful which could give you an idea about the number of customer base you might be losing if your social presence isn’t strong enough: -

  • Twitter grew 1444% year/year
  • 50M tweets sent every day
  • Facebook has 400M + active users
  • Every minute 600 new blog posts are published

Customers use the Internet and smart phones to dictate the prices they are willing to pay for goods as well as disseminate their opinions of those goods. The same Web that empowers consumers can help you regain control – and the competitive edge may otherwise be losing. While the pricing intelligence and effective Web data mining can ensure you’re among the first to know about your competitor’s moves, social media describes wide range of services, communications and evolutions that are concurrently taking place throughout the cyberspace and known for its potential to get large customer base to smaller organization. This is because social networks bring functionality to the table. Thus its not about using one strategy and neglecting the other because both of these gives you enough data to work on.

One thing is certain: Measurement of useful data leads to action and (perhaps more importantly) budget. Solid data is what makes your business case compelling; without it, you're basing decisions and pitches on assumptions and instinct. Those can be helpful, but by measuring first, you can take your story to the next level. Since the analysis gets you to validate, if you on the right path or a total revamp is required you could take the decision for the right strategy well in time.

About the author
Analyst @PriceTree. Shipra is an astute sales expert an ardent traveler and blogger with a vivid experience in media & advertising, corporate space solutions and Event Management.

Read her Latest posts or follow her on Twitter.