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Forrester Concludes Facebook Teases Marketers But Fails to Deliver

Social media website offers less business value compared to other digital channels.
Oct 30, 2013 8:54 AM   By Jeff Miller
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RAPAPORT... In a carefully crafted blog post, Nate Elliott, the principal analyst at Forrester, authored a public note to ''Mr. Zuckerberg,'' or Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook Inc., explaining that the popular social media website is failing its advertisers. 

Forrester's marketing research report titled ''Why Facebook Is Failing Marketers,'' which retails for $499, reportedly delves into why 395 marketers and ebusiness executives from the U.S., Canada and the U.K., concluded that Facebook offers less business value than any other digital marketing channel. However, Yahoo! Inc.'s Daily Ticker Show reported from the report that only a small difference existed across a scale of 1 to 5, between the six major marketing channels with Google the best at 3.84, LinkedIn at 3.81, Yahoo! at 3.54, Facebook at 3.52, Twitter at 3.48 and MSN at 3.28. forrester facebook

Nonetheless, Elliott explained that there were two reasons  business executives were less satisfied with Facebook, despite the portal having collected more than $4 billion in advertising revenue this past year. Facebook is due to report third quarter results today.

''First, your company focuses too little on the thing marketers want most: driving genuine engagement between companies and their customers. Your sales materials tease marketers with the promise that you’ll help them create such connections. But in reality, you rarely do. Everyone who clicks the like button on a brand’s Facebook page volunteers to receive that brand’s messages — but on average, you only show each brand’s posts to 16 percent of its fans. And while your company upgrades its advertising tools and offerings monthly or more, you’ve done little in the past 18 months to improve your unloved branded page format or the tools that marketers use to manage and measure those pages,'' according to Elliott.

Additionally, he stated that Facebook was not  good enough at pure advertising. ''We estimate your site now delivers tens of billions of display ads every day. But fewer than 15 percent of those ads leverage your ever-growing cache of social data to target relevant audiences,'' Elliott wrote.

Facebook's static-image ad units offer marketers less impact per impression and thus, display ads were significantly less effective than the display ads purchased at other digital channels, according to Forrester's research.

Forrester's advice to Facebook concluded that it must  refocus  efforts,  build bridges between companies and their customers, fully leverage social affinity data within its ad targeting products and listen to the marketers who drive Facebook's  financial success.

Facebook responded to Business Insider, calling the Forrester report illogical and irresponsible. Facebook defined the ''promise'' of social media as ''still in progress,'' and that the reality is  ''Facebook advertising works. That's why we have more than one million active advertisers including all of the Ad Age 100. And, countless studies have demonstrated the significant return on investment marketers see from Facebook. Our promise is to continue to deliver positive results for marketers,'' according to the email.

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Tags: digital, facebook. advertising, Forrester, Jeff Miller, marketing, social media
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