STEPHEN E.

ARNOLD

Faceb oo k Ad s: Be yo nd Goo g le and t he Yel lo w Page s SBNOnline, September 6, 2010 In 1980, a local business or a Fortune 100 company knew how to advertise. The budgets may have been orders of magnitude apart, but the person responsible for putting a message in front of potential customers knew the magic word: Advertising. For most companies 30 years ago, advertising almost routinely included print media. The big boys like Procter & Gamble would spend for television, but most of the 15 million businesses in the US wanted to get their message in front of readers of specific publications. Three decades ago, Business Week, Forbes, Fortune, and the Harvard Business Review delivered senior executives. If a company wanted to reach the coal mining industry, McGraw Hill published the coal industry trade magazine that virtually every coal executive received and flipped through. Some like the head of the Booz, Allen & Hamilton energy practice devoured the hefty monthly. Drill down into a small town like Cheyenne, Wyoming, and the local businesses would advertise in the local newspaper, the Yellow Pages, and probably in the high school football program. At sales and marketing conferences in the halcyon days of 1980, there was hand waving about door knob hanging, direct mail delivered at bargain rates by the US Postal Service, and telemarketing. These methods worked, but the one constant was print. The reason was that print publications had some data about their readers. No degree from MIT’s Sloan School of Business is required to figure out that an ad in front of readers in a publication with the desirable demographics was a reasonable way to build a brand, generate some inquiries, and often make a sale. Today as we race toward 2011, the methods of the 1980s are more expensive than ever. Postage, paper, and printing have made bulk direct mail a costly endeavor. A company cranking out direct mail campaigns like the America Online carpet bombing of CD-ROM sign up discs could trigger an environmental protest meet up. Google faces a new advertising threat. The print publications are mostly out of the game. Apple’s ad program is moving with a focus on high-end

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No surprise there. Right now. Google. You can read about Facebook ads by navigating to Google or Bing and entering the phrase “Facebook ads. Facebook has an advantage in demographic information about its users and in targeting messages to a specific group or location. Facebook has on its staff a number of former Google employees.STEPHEN E. and most print publications are stuck in the 19th century. In my opinion. but the company has been unable to reach parity with Facebook. Facebook invokes controversy and user anger. has found itself in guerilla warfare with dozens of adversaries and a couple of World War II grade dust ups with the European Commission and Oracle Corporation. Infusing Google’s rapid fire approach to product enhancements and clickstream analysis. Google. Now Google is rushing to catch up with Facebook’s detailed user information. Facebook’s troubles seem modest by comparison. ARNOLD campaigns. Originally Google relied on algorithms. and interests. the company may find itself faced with the unhappy prospect of watching 2 . Facebook’s user information is the type of information a print publication would provide an advertiser. Facebook is more like the traditional Yellow Pages combined with the pinpoint demographics of a traditional print magazine like People. which suggests to me that Microsoft still has its business savvy when it comes to social media and potential players in the social media space. For example. The Facebook members provide information about themselves.” The lingo Facebook uses to describe its advertising options reminded me of Google’s early descriptions of AdWords. on the other hand. That is significant. Facebook has real. so far. age. is sitting on the sidelines planning its next Facebook killer. honest-to-goodness user-provided data. The difference is that Facebook operates with 21st-century methods. Facebook emphasizes “target customers” among the 500 million Facebook members. Microsoft and Yahoo after some long-engine warm ups are now on track to mount an attack in online search ads. Unless Google gets its groove back. Keep in mind that Microsoft owns a chunk of Facebook. pushing both key word and banners ads. The secret ingredient in Facebook’s new advertising services pivot on this phrase from Facebook’s Web site: Choose your audience by location. These Xooglers continue to have an impact on Facebook. Google is a 20th-century outfit. Facebook strikes me as more agile than Google and more like the pre-2006 Google than Google itself. the nemesis for Google is Facebook and its 500 million plus users. Facebook appears to have various methods for keeping track of clicks and user actions.

Facebook’s approach combines fine-grained control and what can be thought of as “social targeting”. When we contacted Facebook. There is also an activity feed which can be woven into ads so you can surface the actions “friends” are taking on a Web site. The broader question is. No big deal if you have an agency or tech-savvy marketing person. but the company seems to be increasingly serious about online advertising. One can use a “Like” button on a Web site to make it easy for a Facebook user to share a landing page or other content linked within an ad. “What’s the advantage of advertising on Facebook?” First. A second plus is that Facebook makes it easy to use images and text together.facebook. Let me highlight several of the points that I think are important. You can get a quick overview of the system by watching the “Facebook Ads 101 Webinar. You can experiment with Recommendations to help make site more relevant by highlighting content based on the top “Likes” across a Web site. Although Facebook has been dinged for some casual actions related to user privacy and data. we found service to be responsive and informed. advertisers get fine grain targeting. Facebook provides a link to an Ads Team. These range from ad creative to reporting to scheduling.” There’s a dose of salesmanship in the video. Think in terms of a rifle shot more along the lines of old fashioned direct mail to a list of screened prospects from a catalog mailing list. but nice if you want to take control of your Facebook ads yourself.com/adsmarketing/ and skim the various sections. choose to pay only when people click on the ad or see your ad.” Navigate to http://www. CNN. and a Facebook page offer some interesting tools with which to experiment. You have controls to set a daily budget for your Facebook ads. Third. the company has developed a Best Practices policy for its advertising.com uses this function effectively. If you have questions. for example. but it does convey useful information in an easily-digested format. landing pages. Facebook offers a useful “Guide to Facebook Ads. Should your business advertise on Facebook? The answer to this question can be answered easily by running an ad and seeing what happens. Facebook offers features that allow an advertiser with a Facebook page to socialize a message. For Google this type of targeting is an add-on to the original AdWords approach which matched the concepts of the advertiser’s message with the user’s query. age. Ad campaigns that “hook” into Web sites. You can select various options. An advertiser can assemble interlocking 3 . You can adjust the budget at any time.advertisers go to services that provide targeting by location. Your mileage may vary. and interests.

His Web site is www. and Microsoft / Yahoo support their ad systems across most devices that can connect. 2010 Stephen E Arnold is a consultant. and share information. as comfortable as an organization is with traditional sales and marketing methods. Keep in mind that like any of the modern online ad systems. Stephen E Arnold. To wrap up.com. find “friends”. including phones and the newer tablet form factors. Facebook ad campaigns are social. Google. you want to specify how much you want to spend and then monitor the cost of the campaign. Traditional advertising is a flat or two dimensional experience.arnoldit. His blog “Beyond Search” is at http://www. Everyone knows that 1 + 1 = 2. you can look for an advisor in your city. ARNOLD features that expand followers and “fans”.arnoldit. Keep in mind that online ads work in mobile devices.facebook. Interactive ad agencies are ready. If you are in doubt about Facebook ad methods. the online environment is the future. willing.com/wordpress. Be aware that Facebook has an ad review process. 4 . The purpose of the Facebook member’s interaction with the system is to make information available. September 3. Finally. and able to assist you.STEPHEN E. Facebook’s social ad system changes that expression to n * 500 million. The result is that online ads can reach potential customers via a standard Web experience with a desktop PC and the main Facebook site. That translates to significant potential opportunity for advertisers. Facebook ads are social and multidimensional. You can get an idea of what’s possible by exploring the Facebook “connections” information at http://www. A careless advertiser can specify an amount and then return two hours later to find that the system has consumed the budget allocation.com/help/?page=1067. Facebook. That group works to make sure that the Facebook ad system and the Facebook tools are not used in an inappropriate way.

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