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Few Marketers Consider Facebook to Hold A “Critical” Role in Their Overall Mix


AdAgeRBC-Facebook-Role-Overall-Marketing-Mix-Sept2013More than 8 in 10 marketers are using Facebook as a marketing channel, and almost all expect to use it in the next 12 months, per results from a survey conducted by Ad Age and RBC Capital Markets. While that implies a good deal of enthusiasam on the part of marketers for the platform, few appear to deem it indispensable, according to the study. Presented with 3 choices for how they would characterize Facebook’s role in their overall mix, only about 1 in 10 marketers chose the response indicating it was “critical to their marketing efforts.”

Instead, respondents – a mix of marketers of clients (26%), ad agency employees (30%), and media company employees and consultants (44%) – were much more inclined to tab Facebook a “useful but still optional part of my strategy” (45.5%) or “a regular element of my strategy” (43.8%).

That seems to be somewhat of a departure from study results released last year, in which 6 in 10 senior marketers called social media key to their company’s survival. (That survey concerned social media in general, but its findings can reasonably be applied to Facebook given the platform’s status as the largest social marketing channel.)

Nevertheless, marketing on Facebook is undoubtebly important, and that seems to be the case in particular when it comes to its mobile application. About 3 in 4 respondents to the Ad Age and RBC survey said that, based on their marketing objectives and needs, it was “very” (33.1%) or “somewhat” (41.4%) important for them to market on Faceb! ook&rsquo! ;s mobile app.

Facebook budgets remain fairly low for the time being. Half of the respondents indicating that they’re currently allocating between 1 and 10% of their online marketing budgets on Facebook. More than 7 in 10 are spending some of those budgets on Facebook ads, with slightly more than half expecting their ad budgets to increase over the next year.

Interestingly, respondents indicated that the most important goal for their Facebook advertising efforts is to build awareness and sentiment for their brand. While that’s consistent with last year’s Ad Age survey, a recent study from Econsultancy found that more global marketers cited lead generation (37%) than branding (27%) as their main social media advertising objective.

In this latest survey from Ad Age, lead generation was one of the least important Facebook advertising goals, behind the aforementioned brand awareness, driving site traffic, building fans or likes, and staying in touch with customers.

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Wednesday, September 18th, 2013 news No Comments

ROI Rankings: Facebook Deemed More Important Than Twitter and LinkedIn, Less Than Google



After Facebook, Twitter (average rating of 3.04) was deemed the next-most important for ROI, followed by LinkedIn (3.38), Yahoo (4.23), and AOL (5.6).

Respondents – a mix of marketers of clients (26%), ad agency employees (30%), and media company employees and consultants (44%) – appear to be satisfied with the support provided by Facebook for their advertising efforts. Almost half believe that Facebook’s support for advertisers has improved to some degree over the past 6 months, compared to only 1 in 10 who believe it has to some extent deteriorated. Additionally, roughly three-quarters are very (10.5%) or somewhat (65.2%) satisfied with the data and analytic tracking they receive from Facebook.

Given improving ROI and support, it’s not surprising that advertisers will be increasing their efforts: over the next year, a majority expect to significantly (11.2%) or moderately (44.5%) increase their Facebook advertising budget.

Interestingly, although Facebook is deriving an increasing share of ad revenues from mobile, advertisers don’t see much separation between the RO! I of mobi! le and desktop ads, with a plurality (38%) rating them about the same. Slightly more than one-third feel that mobile ROI is much (7.7%) or somewhat (27.4%) greater, while 26.9% feel the same way about desktop ROI.

There’s more consensus when it comes to Facebook Exchange, used by about 1 in 5 respondents. Of those, two-thirds said it has been somewhat effective for their campaigns, with another 1 in 5 calling it very effective.

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Tuesday, September 17th, 2013 news No Comments

Ford, P&G And Others In Full-Scale Revolt Against Ad Price ‘Arbitrage’



Half a dozen major advertisers — Procter & Gamble, Ford, Citibank, Unilever, Kimberly-Clark, and AT&T — have pulled their ad dollars from online ad agency trading desks because those agencies can’t explain how their money is actually being spent, according to a must-read, in-depth report from Adweek’s Mike Shields.

The agency trading desk issue is complicated and obscure, but it involves millions of dollars in web advertising placed by blue-chip brands.

We recently reported on the growing unrest on Madison Avenue over the way some web ad agencies decline to tell their clients the original price of the web ad inventory they’re buying. Agencies buy the media upfront with their own money. They then slice and dice it, according to data they’ve gathered themselves, making it more targetable and thus more valuable. the media is then sold at a premium to clients.

Clients don’t know what the original price was — and thus, nor do they know what the agency’s markup is.

Critics call this practice “arbitrage” or “frontrunning.”

In their defense, agencies say they ad value to the inventory by generating their own analstics and data. They take the risk of not selling the data when they pay for it with their own money. Clients aren’t forced to buy it — they can take it or leave it. And the practice should be judged on a performance basis, as most clients use trading desks as but one part of a larger strategy. The fact that the original pricing is undisclosed is written into contracts upfront, ! too. GroupM CEO Rob Norman told us many of his clients are on a “non-disclosed basis” when it comes to pricing.

But the problem is that where there is a lack of transparency, there’s a lack of trust. Adweek writes (emphasis added):

One tech vendor … described a recent conference call during which a client grew exasperated with its agency, which was unable to provide even basic details about where its ads were being run — since they were being purchased via an agency trading desk.

For example, according to sources, Kimberly-Clark has insisted that its digital agency of record, Mindshare, handle all of its audience buying, rather than Xaxis. AT&T has made the same request of its GroupM shop MEC. Bob Arnold, Kellogg’s global digital strategy director,

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Wednesday, April 10th, 2013 news No Comments

WPP Says Growth In America Is Now WORSE Than Europe (WPPGY)


WPP Group, the world’s largest ad agency holding company, reported its Q2 2012 results and the revenue breakdown shows a complete reversal of fortunes for North America: When previously growth was strong in the U.S. and Canada, now it is contracting; and where growth in Europe was anemic, now it is robust.

Here’s WPP’s chart:


The key metric is “LFL,” or like-for-like” revenues. Note that North America declined 0.6% in Q2 while Europe grew between 0.8% – 3.5%.

The U.S. ad economy is now doing worse than Belgium, Italy and Japan:


As usual, ad agency revenue growth has continued its strong correlation with U.S. GDP as a whole. As the U.S. economic growth slowed, ad revenues matched the retraction, step for step:

GDP ad agency revenues

Ad agency revenues hinted at the retraction back in Q1, also. Ad agency revenues are—arguably—a good proxy for economic growth as a whole because they come from a wide variety of consumer-facing companies who often adjust their spending as a percentage of total sales.


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Thursday, August 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Facebook Scam Artist Fined


Facebook Ad Scammer Fined $100K for Ruining Our NewsfeedsAdscend Media is the jerk ad agency responsible for many of the “OMG LOL THIS VIDEO IS SO GOOD JUSTIN BEIBER” links on Facebook that, when clicked, spam the same crap link to your friends. It has just been fined $100,000 by a Washington court for spamming and scamming Facebook users.

The thing is, that $100,000 fine looks tiny compared to the $1.2 million that Adscent Media brings in every month; 80 percent of which comes from the scammy links that, really, should be punishable by orbital bombardment. Facebook itself is trying to legislate stuff like this out of our lives, and this decision is a step in that direction, but there’s still a lot of lawyering left to do. [Venture Beat]

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Wednesday, May 9th, 2012 digital No Comments

AOL Is Searching For A New Ad Agency To Convince Public To ‘Care About AOL Again’


Clint Eastwood’s “It’s Halftime in America” Super Bowl spot for Chrysler pissed off Karl Rove and other Republican leaders. Rove told Fox News: “It is a sign of what happens when you have Chicago-style politics, and the president of the United States and his political minions are, in essence, using our tax dollars to buy corporate advertising.” 

Ad Age reports that AOL is looking to hire an advertising agency who will explain “why people should care about AOL again.Leo Burnett held the account in 2009 but hasn’t done work for AOL since 2010.

Ads are coming to Facebook’s mobile app.

NBC Universal digital executive Devin Johnson has joined Studio One as its new COO.

Subway’s U.S. digital media duties have switched from Publicis Groupe’s Publicis Modem to MediaCom.

Facebook has hired Rebecca Van Dyck, a former Levis and Apple exec, to head its global marketing division.

Nada Stirratt, a former MySpace, AOL, and MTV exec, has joined Axicom.

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Tuesday, February 7th, 2012 news No Comments

The Ads Won Awards for Crispin; But Did Nothing for Client BurgerKing – Whoa! Big Surprise

What Crispin’s Lauded BK Work Doesn’t Do: Gain Ground On McD’s

Since Hiring the Agency, King Earned Ad Plaudits but Hasn’t Closed the Gap

CHICAGO ( — For all of Burger King’s marketing triumphs with its ad agency, Crispin Porter & Bogusky, it has lost — and continues to lose — ground to its largest and most significant rival, McDonald’s.



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Monday, June 22nd, 2009 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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