Advertisers and agencies asking Facebook to explain the ROI on advertising campaigns on its platform is nothing new. And although the questions are getting more sophisticated, there’s still a lot of learning going on at Mark Zuckerberg’s social creation.
Since the earliest days of measurement on Facebook, its researchers were “focused on understanding what media mix results were saying about us and how to help marketers understand performance across channels,” says Daniel Slotwiner, Director of Advertising Research.
Five years ago, which can seem like eternity in the digital research space, Facebook partnered with Datalogix to determine whether users of the platform were buying advertised products. Datalogix had purchasing data from some 70 million U.S. households largely drawn from loyalty cards and programs at more than 1,000 retailers.
Among the research findings was the insights that in 70% of cases, for every dollar a marketer spent on Facebook it earned an extra $3 in incremental sales. “That’s become a little bit of an industry model,” Slotwiner says in an interview at the recent Beet.TV Leadership Summit titled Outcomes and presented by video marketing technology provider Eyeview. “It’s not new. What’s nice is that the questions are getting more sophisticated.”
For example, brands want to know how the relationship between video duration and outcomes; how video performs in the context of display, search and other Facebook formats; and cross-channel audience targeting and measurement, according to Slotwiner.
He sees a growing focus on cross-channel and placing the right message in front of the right prospect.
“I think there’s a natural assumption that video is going to be the best possible impression to put in front of someone if they will watch it,” he says. “I think what we need to figure out is kind of when they will and what the creative needs to be like to make that successful.”
Mobile is still a work in progress when it comes to video. “People see the potential, but they understand that we don’t know a lot about how to do this well yet on mobile,” says Slotwiner.
Some brands are asking about sequencing and priming as well. “If you know you’re going to reach someone on a digital platform and you’re also reasonably likely to reach them on TV, that information can be leveraged to get more value out of the TV investment,” he says.
Nonetheless, there’s a tendency in some quarters to rely on comfortable metrics as well, among them CPM or cost per view. “Nobody is really satisfied with that and understand that is probably not a good proxy,” Slotwiner says. “But until we as an industry make it possible to make these tradeoffs more easily people, will default to that.”
Interviewing Daniel Slotwiner for Beet.TV was Joanna O’Connell (MediaMath).