Friday, November 09, 2007

Facebook Ad Model - The New Google?

it's a tough gig being facebook; you are caught between a passionate user base who assume you are a public service, who react badly to any commercialization and business partners/shareholders who require some sort of ROI.

i guess their new ad model is an attempt to steer a course between these two conflicting groups. there is alot of chat about this on the message boards and blogs and it seems to be edging towards condemnation, based around big brother and rights from its largely student US base, but not a small amount of admiration too.

i don't think this will be an advertising panacea and they have not done a google. google fundamentally changed the market by defining the market as a "when" not a "who". demography means little when someone is actively searching for your brand or product. facebook have not really changed the market to this extent but none the less done something interesting.

i am a big advocate of advertising being relevant, the audience then selecting to bring it in, and ultimately recommending.

with facebook ads they allow brands to be much more targeted than any main stream and possibly broadcast digital media, they enable the audience to hand raise, be advocates and it spits out some fantatsic learnings. this really put the onus on brands and advertisers to have something useful/interesting/amusing to say/do. nothing earth shattering, the are just doing what we have always tried to do but better.

beacon is however quite interesting. as online you don't exist, you have to write yourself into being. you are define by your friends, your comments and your wall posts. some brands have tapped into this by providing social media apps to allow this. fb have taken this to a new level and turned it commercial: you see a brand you like on another web site and click the beacon button to add to your profile as a brand supporter.

facebook ad model


Charles Edward Frith said...

Beacon buttie... (sniggers gleefully) :))

erin said...

I really like your spin: "Google defined the market as a 'when' not a 'who'. I've never thought of Google like that before.

It's extremely important for brands to be accessible; to be there when the consumers need or may need them BUT I still Facebook straddling a very thin line between pushing product (spam) and being a working, useful, fun social network. The line is thin between 'oh this is fun' and 'brands in my face is irritating'. It can all turn on a dime. The momentum seems to be building with Facebook; I'm eager to see where it goes.

Unknown said...

Love this post. Just a comment on beacon. As you write it here it seems voluntary, but isn't it correct that even though I choose not to volunteer when shopping on amazone or the other associates, they will share my behavior with facebook anyway?

I'm a bit puzzled here because I see why this kind of behavioral targeting scares people with it's big brother feel, but on the other hand, doesn't it do the media consumers a favor, by being able to address them with relevant ads instead of a wide range of irritating stuff. And if we as marketers can raise ROI by being relevant, perhaps we can actually stop spamming people so much. Let face it - the ads don't disappear! This could actually be a way to make them relevant and thereby more acceptable - as we see in magazine ads... Had the same discussion going when Joost launched. If you could make the commercial break 60 secs instead of 6 minutes by giving info on you life, who wouldn't prefer that?

Anyway this comment got kinda long - perhaps I should post about i instead :). Just got inspired by your post.

Giles Rhys Jones said...

afew days ago - in a classic example of the power of social media - a group of facebook users forced a change in the policy. Facebook will not send messages about users' internet activities without getting explicit approval each time.

i agree that the more relevant advertising can be the mosre useful and we are currently tip-toeing across the very fine line between big brother and utility...