Last week, we asked our twin marketers for Fortune 100 brands to give an honest appraisal of agencies. This week, we’ve asked the same two for their opinions on social media, including what they think of the efforts of Facebook and Twitter to build media businesses. If you have questions for our brands, please email them to me. Next week we will run a piece in which the brands answer Digiday reader questions.
Why do brands struggle with ROI in social?
The measurement model is just more proven for TV. It’s a big deal, but it’s just another layer on top of not understanding the medium. It’s the crutch people fall back on. It’s one of the things where you can sound intelligent. You can’t say I don’t understand this medium and I don’t understand engagement marketing versus reach marketing. There are so many other problems, but the measurement is one they can articulate. It’s a convenient excuse. — Client Y
What does Facebook need to do in order to get brands to spend more on advertising there?
Advertising is loaded term, especially in the context of Facebook, which is still emerging as a media company. Their self-serve platform works quite well for our brands, but we don’t think of what we do there as advertising per se. The platform is so easy, it’s cheap, and it’s helping our brands do so many things advertising can’t: Identify new product uses, create direct, owned connections with our fans, find new users, product issues, creative opportunities, etc. It’s going to be a very powerful tool for our brands for the foreseeable future. But for our brands — mass, national brands seeking very broad reach at very efficient rates — the bulk of our dollars, the real money, the “advertising,” goes to mass media. We most often don’t put Facebook into those plans. Those big advertising budgets can go to so many different places, and a lot of those places are more cost-efficient than Facebook. There’s clearly a glut of impressions — ironically, Facebook itself is accelerating this — and we’ve got a ton of alternatives to buy very cheap, well-targeted impressions in ways our marketers and agencies understand. So, in a very real way, Facebook needs to justify (or at least help the brands understand) the premium it tends to charge for impressions. And that job is compounded by the newness and relative complexity of its new ad products. Sometimes those buys are just hard for media planners to sell in effectively to marketing teams that may not understand what it is looking at relative to more traditional digital media buys. Ultimately, it might be selling their premium products the wrong way. Facebook sells it as advertising, which leads marketers to compare them on a CPM basis. What it really has is the first, easy-to-buy tool that enables smart brand marketers to do targeted, convertible and guaranteed content distribution. As more and more of us marketers embrace a publisher mindset, we’re going to seek ways to create manageable, predictable content distribution. Facebook has built that platform and those tools, but the “buys” are showing up in marketers’ plans right next to low-CPM buys from major networks, exchanges and Google. — Client X
Lees verdre op digiday.com.