Social media ‘dwarfed’ by television as lead channel, Warc finds

Social media is declining as the lead media channel used by marketers despite a 44 per cent  growth rate in overall usage since 2012, research by consultancy firm Warc has found. Although social media had achieved a 70 per cent increase in market penetration since 2012, it remained “dwarfed” by television as the lead media channel – claimed the report.

Social media was used most effectively as a “supportive and amplifying medium”, while campaigns led by television – such as the John Lewis’ ‘Man on the Moon’ Christmas ad – took the lion’s share of Golds at the Warc IPA Effectiveness Awards in November.

Social media was used most effectively as a “supportive or amplifying medium”, according to the Warc data based on the IPA Awards performance. Online video was the second most-used channel after social media.

Meanwhile, profit and penetration took precedence over sales figures as the most important business metric among the award entries. At the same time, creating a buzz on social media became the dominant soft metric with marketers looking to drive campaign fame rather than brand awareness – said Warc. 

On a creative level, the awards saw a rise in the number of campaigns driven by ’emotion’, with purpose-driven led marketing continuing its dominance as an industry trend. “Campaigns that involved consumer participation were also a key theme to help build momentum and engagement,” said Warc. “The most successful can cross geographical and cultural barriers, and can resonate beyond its original target.”


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