Facebook Has Set Marketing Back Hundreds of Years

No, not literally, but it made you look

Facebook one to one advertising What I mean is that Facebook’s unique advertising platform gives to modern day marketers what I believe to be the closest thing to One to One conversations rather than the One to Many broadcasts we have become used to since the dawn of modern day advertising.

A One to One experience would be where each person is given unique and appropriate recommendations that are tailor-made for them and them alone. This would be like walking into the local tailor before the days of mega-brands, high street chains, multinational corporations and even before the event off mass production. Your tailor would know exactly what you liked and disliked, would know what you did for a living and what kind of designs, colors and fabrics would be best suited to you, your tastes, budget and needs.

source: madaboutshanghai

By comparison, a One to Many experience could be described as how a TV ad broadcasts to you, your mother, your dog, and even to an empty room the exact same message regardless of who you are.

I know which of these I prefer

This shift of focus away from the One and towards the Many was broadly brought about for two main reasons: 1) because when people stopped living their whole lives in the same town they no longer knew their tailor any more so he couldn’t give the perfect, personal recommendations of old, and 2) because it’s cheaper to treat everyone the same and ‘stack em high and sell em cheap’.

Now I would guess that you also know which of these you prefer too

About now I can hear some of you saying “no way Dan, that chap Bezos over at Amazon solved all this with his personalized recommendations engine.”
But he didn’t really, because if you use my local tailor example to describe the Amazon experience it would go like this:

• You walk into the tailor’s shop to buy some jogging pants for yourself and an outfit for a friend’s new-born baby.
• You get a good deal on both these items and leave happy.
• Every Single Time you return after that, the tailor tries to sell you more jogging pants (or other fitness upsell), and more baby clothes.

He’s failing to realise that your jogging hobby was a fad that you gave up immediately and that you don’t have any children of your own so you won’t be buying kids’ clothes again any time soon.

This tailor is wasting your time

And now I can hear yet more of you yelling “well, what about triggered emails, behavioral display or retargeted ads?” And I would say that they are not One to One in the enriching way I defined above because all of them are dumb and impotent to your needs until you do something that triggers off a response.
For instance, the retargeting ad that follows you around the entire web didn’t start doing that until you browsed those designer jeans on the brand’s site. Or, you didn’t get a note from your online grocer reminding you to put diapers in your order until you started (and then stopped), buying them from that site.

All of these things are only able to treat you as an individual After you have done something; they are reacting to what they have seen you do, Not to who you are.

A true One to One experience as defined by me would look at who you are, at what makes you up and what your unique characteristics are, and it would preemptively, almost telepathically, communicate a perfectly tailored message that would be of genuine benefit to you, not an interruption and not a mere algorithmic response to a prior action.

And now I’m going to tell you why I think that Facebook Advertising gets closer to this ideal than any other online advertising or marketing technique.

Facebook has the following aces up its sleeve when it comes to One to One marketing:

First, the targeting options for marketplace ads allow the scientific-minded advertiser to:
• blend information of someone’s demographics (age, gender, marital status etc),
• with their interests (do they like running, home improvement, etc),
• with even personality types (is the user conscientious, extroverted or even possessed of a high IQ).

And then once you do this you can slice and dice the approximately 800 Million users down time and time again until you have found potentially millions of micro-segments as small as 20 users each.

You can then supply a 100% unique ad to each one of those millions of micro-segments.

You can then supply a 100% unique landing page to each one of those millions of micro-segments.

And you do all of this before the user knew they were even interested in your product or content.

All of this abides by Privacy law, and none of it is creepy if designed an executed in the right way, and the benefits of performing your advertising in this fashion are remarkable:

• Doubled Click through Rates
• Quadrupled Conversion rates
• Halved Costs Per Click

And why do the benefits above come through?
It’s because you have bothered to communicate to an individual user as One unique person, not as a faceless member of the Many.

Clearly the technical challenge of producing Millions of micro-segments, and then Millions more unique ad creatives and then further Millions more unique landing pages is a stratospherically enormous one, but, armed with the right technology and the correct insight, all of this is possible.

Trust me, if you get the above right, your users and your ROI numbers will love you.



Dan is the Director of Operations at Rocketer. Dan was Rocketer’s first employee and part of the team that developed its market leading advertising solution for Yahoo’s Search Submit Pro product. Dan was also part of the team that built hmv.com into an award winning ecommerce platform. Dan’s mission in life is to marry a technical advertising solution with first class service. His favourite feature of the Acquisio platform is the client extranet that lets client login to view pre-set graphs and reports set by the agency updated in real time.

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