Brands Derail Social Ad Campaigns, Sending Consumers Searching For Where To Buy Products

Brands use social media to market and advertise product and services, but miss the opportunity to direct consumers to specific locations like CVS, Wal-Mart or Nordstrom. This is forcing more consumers to leave social sites for Google, Bing and Yahoo, searching for locations where the products are sold.

"Brands leave it up to the consumers to figure out where to find the products," said David Ingerman at CEO at PlaceCodes.

Consumers leave Twitter and Facebook to search on Google or Bing, looking for locations where the products are sold. Consumers often get redirected by competitive offerings through paid-search advertisements.

Campaigns running in Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter could make it easier for marketers to close the loop and drive more consumers into stores, but they don't, Ingerman said. A link to a branded landing page or some type of direction based on the individual's location would solve the problem.

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A brand Findability Audit by PlaceCodes found that 93% of brands fail to direct consumers to their nearest retail location selling their product. Only 7% do a good job of directing individuals after they introduce them to the product or service. "It's a trend that should happen, but today brands do not take advantage of that opportunity," he said.

Findings from the audit show that only 33% of brands provide consumers with a mobile-friendly product locator, 76% require more than three clicks to get directions, and none include offers that are served to consumers when they are in the process of finding directions to products in stores.

PlaceCodes audited 100 of the highest ad-spending consumer brands in the U.S from Coke to Pepsi and from Doritos to Old Spice. Of the few brands that delivered location information, none provided any kind of special incentive for the consumer to drive them to the location. The lowest-scoring brands include M&Ms and Ferrero Roche. Baby products, cosmetics and OTC drugs performed highest in tests. Overall snack foods, soda and alcohol were some of the least effective brands at providing location information.

In a complementary Consumer Mobile Product-Locator Research Study conducted by the Kellogg Business School, Northwestern University, on behalf of Placecodes, the value of being directed to a store comes from the fact 89% of consumers struggling to find products. They are more likely to actively seek those items if provided an effective locator function. While food and electronics are rated easy to find, women's clothing and makeup are rated the most difficult to find.

4 comments about "Brands Derail Social Ad Campaigns, Sending Consumers Searching For Where To Buy Products".
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  1. Jim Meskauskas from Media Darwin, Inc., May 5, 2015 at 1:56 p.m.

    But most users of social media aren't there to shop, anyway (so notes an eMarketer report that came out two weeks ago). So, maybe it doesn't matter. For most users of social media, it's bad enough brands are bothering people there. No need to draw more negative attention by weighing down social ad units with more clutter, when audiences don't want them there, anyway.

  2. Rob Marscher from Shoptology, May 5, 2015 at 2:01 p.m.

    The problem I've seen brands struggle with is suggesting retail locations in a way that doesn't show favoritism or jeopardize their relationships with retailers. This goes for both brick & mortar and e-commerce. It can be pretty challenging to maintain a real-time database of everywhere a product is sold so it seems brands stay away from it altogether rather than risk offending anyone.

  3. Brooks Perry from RPA, May 5, 2015 at 3:41 p.m.

    If you can't figure out where to buy Coca-Cola, M&Ms and Old Spice, within a 5 miles of ANYWHERE, you should get parental supervision before accessing social media.

  4. David Ingerman from PlaceCodes, May 5, 2015 at 4:36 p.m.

    Jim Meskauskas - Good point that brands need to walk a fine line and avoid being too aggressive with social. That said, if a brand is introducing a new product or announcing a promotion that is available "at participating locations," I think they do a dis-service to the consumer, the retailer and themselves by not including a simple link that a consumer can click to be guided to the most convenient location - and to access a special offer (if one is available).

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