It seems that the real money is on digital media fulfilling the demand created by more predictable “mass-media” tactics – TV, PR etc.
The brilliantly controversial Ad Contrarian has said that the internet shouldn’t really be used for advertising at all, or at least only for Google ads and certainly not for those tiny little Facebook ads.
He points out that targeting ads in a highly specific way, based on demographics, does not seem to work in building a strong mass-market brand. This goes against the new conventional wisdom, which is that targeting will change everything.
However, about a year ago, Facebook released its new FBX ads. These ads are not targeted based on the huge amount of demographic information Facebook hold. Instead they are based on your browsing history, on promoting things that you have already looked at on other sites.
So, what Facebook is doing, is moving from trying to generate new demand, but rather fulfilling the demand that has already been generated.
I see a travel show on TV suggesting a trip to Bali. Or someone mentions their trip, and it sounds cool. The demand has been created. So I check it out on a web site (and get a cookie), but I’m not ready to buy the holiday now.
The genius of Google is that – whenever I am ready – I will search for it. And Google will be there at that very moment to take their slice.
WIth FBX, Facebook will be showing me adverts for Bali now. They will also have a chance of “fulfilling” the demand that was generated elsewhere.
And perhaps, with this, Facebook also have a chance of fulfilling people’s expectations that they can make money from all of the time people spend on their platform.