It's The Data, Stupid

That’s what Caspar Schlickum, Managing Director, EMEA, Xaxis, implied was the real opportunity behind Facebook Exchange.

Schlickum characterized the launch of Facebook Exchange as a significant breakthrough for marketers and for trading desks like Xaxis, not because of the ability to procure inventory or create online experiences per se, but because of the ability to track and analyze the performance of Facebook in real-time, with real metrics.

He cited the example of a “quick service restaurant” brand in the U.S. that Xaxis ran a Facebook Exchange campaign for. The data available via the exchange enabled the brand to reduce its campaing costs by 22%, he said.

One source of data that’s not exactly resonating with brands, is “likes.”

In fact, Schlickum suggested it might have been the real reason behind General Motors decision to stop advertising on Facebook.

“Someone went, ‘What’s a “like” worth?’,” Schlickum said, implying that when no one could reasonably answer that question, the decision was made to discontinue advertising on the social network.

That said, Schlickum said “It must be working for some brands,” because they continue to advertise on Facebook, and for Xaxis and its clients, the ability to run “programmatic” buys through the Facebook Exchange has been a game changer.

Ben Aronson, Managing Director Digital & Creative, Juice Digital, noted that GM didn’t actually “pull off of Facebook entirely.”

“They stopped advertising,” he said, adding that they continued to invest in their Facebook pages and content related to it.

“They saw their value as the engagement piece, which to be honest with you, is where most brands and most agencies do a crap job,” he said.

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2 comments about "It's The Data, Stupid".
  1. John Baker from JWT , September 17, 2012 at 10:17 a.m.
    "the ability to run 'programmatic' buys through Facebook Exchange has been a game changer." This is the key message in here since it is one more media that can be managed by sophisticated tools. Changes the media buying process, but also will change the type of creative we run and how we respond to media metrics. What if all media were served? TV, Outdoor, print?
  2. Tom Cunniff from Tom Cunniff , September 17, 2012 at 6:15 p.m.
    John Baker asks the right question about what will happen if all media are served the way digital display ads are served today. I would argue it's a question of when, not if. The answer to what type of creative we run and how we respond to media metrics depends on what lessons we have learned from digital display. If we have successfully learned that DR tactics do not build brands, we have a new opportunity to do what works. If we have not yet learned our lessons? Get ready for more (and bigger) brand failures in digital.