Thursday, January 19, 2012

The Sky is Falling....

And in breaking news:
“ComScore Study finds 31% of Display Ads Never Seen”
“UH, OH! Facebook Pages Only Reach 17% Of Fans”
Crikey, I thought over my morning cuppa. We are all doomed. Or are we? Let’s break it down:
The only real new news here is the ‘31%’ in the headline. We all know that a percentage of ads are never seen and that’s ok because there are lots of perfectly relevant reasons for this. We all know CPC media buys deliver squillions of impressions and no-one really expects that every single one of them will be seen. Because the buy is based on clicks, wastage isn’t an issue.
As for ad impressions being delivered outside of geographic areas – well duh. We all know that ad serving isn’t an exact science and that some networks aren’t that rigorous with their targeting.
At the end of the day, if you want a guarantee that your ads will be seen (as much as there is a guarantee) then you need to pay for premium placements in contextually relevant environments. Media Planning 101 is to ensure you have the right mix of high reach/low cost placements which deliver cost effectiveness and premium, contextually relevant placements that deliver awareness and give the campaign a presence. The split is different for each brand/campaign, but a good starting point is 60/40 (and which way round that goes will depend on whether your objectives are awareness or response).
Anyhoo – its all a bit of a moot point as the real story behind this is ComScore’s announcement that they have launched a new “Validated Campaign Essentials” report which in a nutshell reports back on campaign wastage.
So on to the headline that Facebook pages only reach 17% of fans. If some of the brand pages I ‘like’ are anything to go by, this is also no surprise. For a start, some of the “content” they offer is so offputting I have ended up in the -5% propensity to buy category more than once. Secondly – the sheer volume of content appearing on my wall in any 24 hour period is overwhelming. And I don’t even have that many friends.
If you are managing a brand page on Facebook it’s essential to have an always on media budget set aside to support the page outside of wider campaign activity. Your campaign budgets should be used primarily to grow connections so that your always on budget can be used to build engagement through judicious and clever use of the sponsored stories product.
What I loved about the blog was the insight into a reporting metric we could all do with keeping an eye on – “average post visibility”. I’ll be adding this to our reporting metrics from here on in. And we could all do with keeping the “Tips for Solving Facebook Post Visibility Problems” close at hand.
So, I can get on with my work today in the safe knowledge that the sky is in fact not falling. Not today at least.

When 'Likes' are not Loves

We’ve all had the brief:  the client wants to build a fan base on Facebook (new or existing), and we must challenge the audience with new and exciting (as well as tried and tested) advertising avenues to achieve this goal.  Basically, the client wants more Facebook Likes.  The success of the campaign is measured in Likes, often exclusively.

But what does this actually mean for the client, to have more people Liking their brand page?  PHDiQ attended the MSN Digital Marketing Summit in Auckland in November, and many of the speakers emphasised the role social media plays in advertising.  Thomas Scovell (Clemenger BBDO) discussed the idea that “Likes don’t equal sales” which is something we should consider when planning campaigns (see clips of his speech as well as others here).

BBDO in the United States recently conducted a study that found people who Like a brand on Facebook are anywhere between +40% to -5% likely to spend money on the brand product.  So while Likes certainly drive some sales, many people probably never look at the page again, having Liked it on a whim.  And some people are -5% less likely to buy the product than they were in the first place (most likely due to irrelevant brand page posts, or being bombarded by posts).

Carrie Hill has written an interesting blog post on how Likes can be misconstrued.  She talks about how some companies are being paid to generate Likes which are redundant, and the negative effects of redundant or ‘fluff’ status updates.  She also mentions that the bounce rate skyrockets by up to 600% when status updates are made which are unrelated to the brand.  You can read her full blog here.

Nobody is suggesting that Likes are useless in terms of brand awareness and pushing sales; but sometimes a Facebook Like is used as a measure of success, when in fact the Like is doing nothing for the brand, or even worse than nothing.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012, The year of.....

It’s that time of year when digital pundits are busy making their picks for the year ahead.

A variety of terms have been bandied around across the last decade: The year of mobile (over and over again), the year of social, the year of gaming, the year of online video etc

So what does 2012 hold in store from a digital perspective?

Mashable recently published their predictions for 2012. They expect to see growth for Smart TV’s and TV apps, big moves in motion gaming, Google + to break 100m users and mobile to become a key media channel and payment tool.

You can view the full article here: interviewed 15 US based CMO’s of top consumer brands to get their digital predictions for 2012. They expect to see mobile become a much more important part of the overall media mix, social media to become a cornerstone of brands’ marketing strategies, and ‘good content’ to become much more important to digital campaigns:

The full article is published at the following address:

Millward Brown also expect mobile to become increasingly important and predict that the mobile wallet and mobile ‘location based marketing’ will become a reality in 2012. They also expect to see strong growth in social TV (effectively social tools, technologies and platforms that allow people to interact with TV programmes, and other viewers of those programmes) and changing attitudes to online privacy.

A link to the article is as follows:

As you can see mobile is again a common theme for 2012. This is understandably so given the growth in smartphone/tablet penetration, the fact that mobile data is becoming more affordable and media owners are getting better at adapting their content to mobile devices.

If NZ media owners and adserving providers can continue to invest in their mobile offering it could become a key part of the overall media mix.

Who knows, the year of mobile may not be so far away after all.