Efficient Frontier Crosses Channels, Ventures Into Facebook

Facebook-EFrontier

Efficient Frontier Monday plans to release a Facebook advertising service that allows marketers to optimize Facebook alongside search and display ads. The move aims to effectively allocate budgets, quickly build ads, and gain higher return on investments (ROI) through optimization and reporting.

The integration lets marketers create thousands of ads in seconds and easily target them to new audiences using Facebook's segments: interest, likes, age, gender, and geography.

Approaching marketing on Facebook similar to the manner one approches it in search and display moves Efficient Frontier deeper into supporting cross-channel marketing, according to Justin Merickel, the company's vice president of marketing. "As an online marketer you should understand the channel responsible for influencing the conversion," he says. "That's a challenge because it relies on analytics systems to find and rate the value per channel. It's difficult to take that information and turn it into buying behavior. It's about capturing the data and allocating it to the correct channel."

Efficient Frontier's clients, such as online bookseller Chegg, have been working to integrate Facebook. Merickel says many have begun to realize that rather than relying on one medium, the real benefits reside in cross-channel marketing. He points to a client using search marketing to double the influence in conversions on Facebook, as an example. "That's kind of cross-channel influence from Facebook happens because you get the data, see it, and not just analyze it but automate how to attribute success to optimize the channel," he says.

Merickel believes Facebook's revenue will "ramp" because tools like these will make it a successful channel.

Market research firm eMarketer estimates worldwide ad spending on Facebook will reach $1.28 billion in 2010, which has some folks wondering if Twitter also can nuzzle in to support cross-channel marketing and advertising.

Citing April 2010 data from ExactTarget, eMarketer suggets that Twitter followers are as good (or better) than Facebook Fans because Twitter followers are more than twice as likely to purchase from the brand after becoming a social media follower.

When asked whether Twitter followers, email subscribers and Facebook Fans would recommend a brand based on a "like" or "follow," 33% of Twitter followers admitted they were more likely to make a recommendation now that they followed a brand, compared with 24% of email subscribers and 21% of Facebook fans, according to eMarketer. The research firm notes that those who "liked" a brand on Facebook were most likely to actively disagree with the statement.

As the industry matures it becomes more about having the data to drive the strongest return across channels. The Efficient Frontier platform relies on predictive modeling and simulations that enable the company to optimize bids optimization across digital marketing channels.

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