Marketing professionals in the information technology sector still can’t agree on whether Twitter is a valuable marketing tool or simply an overhyped, narcissistic craze that has no place in the professional world, according to a new survey by U.K. technology public relations firm Johnson King.
The survey of 100 business-to-business technology marketing professionals was conducted to shed light on how Twitter is being used, how it is regulated in a corporate environment and gauge the general attitude toward the effectiveness of the tool as a marketing aide. Key findings include:
· 37.8 percent of respondents don’t consider Twitter to be a valuable marketing tool
· 25.8 percent of respondents believe Twitter is a personal tool and that companies should stay away
· 44.4 percent use Twitter to monitor what is said about their brand, while 43% use it to better communicate corporate news
· 57.3 percent of marketing professionals using Twitter do not have a corporate policy in place governing its use
· And while 46.6 percent believe that Twitter will become a key part of all companies’ communications strategies in future, 23.9 percent think it will disappear as companies saturate its use as a marketing platform.
The survey shows heavily polarized attitudes toward Twitter, with some tech marketers singing its praises in terms of tracking trends and connecting with customers, while others insist it is just a fad that will disappear when something new comes along.
“It seems that when it comes to Twitter, people really do either love it or hate it,” says Laura Mead, account director at Johnson King. “The mixed feedback could be a result of the tool's relative infancy, with some yet to discover its relevance for their particular organization. Twitter’s power to make or break reputations may well be a proof point of how it is perceived, if your marketing efforts have been enhanced by an onslaught of complimentary tweets then you are likely to view things rather differently to someone whose brand image has been damaged by the same medium.”
As part of the research, respondents were asked for additional comment on their attitudes to Twitter use. Responses ranged from the highly negative—“Twitter is possibly the most narcissistic tool yet developed, but I'm sure someone will come up with an even more egocentric technology soon enough”—to ringing endorsements: “I’ve been blown away by the effect of Twitter. We’ve only used it a short time, but the effect has been outstanding and we have been very lucky with mostly positive feedback after a product launch. If we had negative news, I suppose my attitude would change.”