Earlier this week, Procter & Gamble, the world’s largest advertiser, announced a surprising move. It decided that buying targeted ads on Facebook didn’t make a material impact on the consumer packaged goods giant’s business.
P&G CMO Marc Pritchard told the Wall Street Journal that the company won’t necessarily buy less ads on the social network, but it plans to purchase highly targeted ads less often.
Well, according to Pritchard, buying these highly targeted, granular audiences was costly and didn’t necessarily result in a material difference to its business. "We targeted too much and we went too narrow," Marc Pritchard, P&G's chief marketing officer, told the Journal. "And now we're looking at: What is the best way to get the most reach but also the right precision?"
P&G was an early participant in experimenting with Facebook’s targeting tools, which enable advertisers to reach very specific audience segments.
Some industry observers say that massive companies like P&G, with their many brands, may not benefit from hyper-targeting. Yet anyone you talk to is bullish on buying super-granular audience targets. Or there could be a simpler reason: Larger brands simply don’t see advantages in such narrow, specific targeting.
Targeting very specific audiences does tend to cost more for marketers. P&G has said that it got the same results from making broader ad buys. It seems that P&G may be shifting to placing more emphasis on an online ad's reach vs. its targeting abilities.