Promotions More Effective Than Social Media!

Posted in Company News on 5th March 2013

Promotions More Effective Than Social Media!

An interesting couple of weeks with lots of debate in the marketing press about the effectiveness of social media for brands and its place in the marketing mix. To add to the argument Unilever have confirmed that they are reappraising their approach as in-store promotions beat social media ROI.

In recent times Unilever has shifted large parts of brand budgets to social media but recent evaluation has shown in store promotional activity to deliver 50% higher return on investment!


It’s an interesting debate to watch being played out in the marketplace. Social media is “the” thing to spend your budget on often at the expense of areas such as promotional marketing.  Brands are under a lot of pressure to spend more on social media and get the returns. They are chasing likes and shares, forcing consumers to their Facebook or Twitter pages to enter competition, receive vouchers but is this effective?

Sir Martin Sorrell also commented recently in an interview with the Harvard Business Review that he thinks Facebook and Twitter are for PR not advertising.  He believes they are a branding medium and about developing the brand over the long term. Someone saying something nice on Facebook about your brand is probably not going to drive an instant purchase!

As consumers there’s only so much room for communication from brands in our lives. Do we really want to receive tweets and Facebook posts from every brand we buy including toilet roll, milk and frozen peas? I know I don’t!


Social media is great for brands with a story to tell that consumers find interesting so Nike, Asos, even Unilever’s Dove but for standard household brands such as those that form the main part of the Unilever portfolio focusing more on areas where you can directly and quickly influence purchase day after day putting more of your money into in-store promotions would surely be more effective.

The debate will continue!