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16 March 2014

Why CMOs Must Change Their Plans for Facebook

Facebook’s advertising model has undergone a dramatic transformation in recent months. What was once a predominantly engagement- and affinity-based advertising model has morphed into a hybrid mix of branding and performance-based direct-response advertising solutions.

This transformation isn’t by accident. It mirrors a fundamental shift taking place within the online advertising industry. According to the IAB, 66% of all online advertising spend in the United States goes toward performance-based advertising.

Facebook’s ad shift began in April 2013 when it introduced cost-per-acquisition (CPA) ad buys. It has continued to add more advanced direct-response targeting methods. This transformation has caught some marketers by surprise. According to an October 2013 Forrester Research report, only 51 percent of marketers are satisfied with how Facebook helps them connect with consumers.

CMOs have been sold on the belief that they must build up a large, highly engaged community on Facebook and only then will they see a return on investment from their social advertising spend. This is true to an extent but it has had the adverse effect of creating a glut of boring, stale ad copy and wall posts that are primarily aimed at generating likes and shares. This outdated model of Facebook marketing does little to drive consumer actions and generate new business. Worse, it’s out of step with Facebook’s more advanced ad targeting solutions.

Marketers need to understand that the long-term benefit of advertising on Facebook isn’t purely brand awareness and affinity. It is awareness and affinity plus actual sales.

It’s time for CMOs to change their strategies for Facebook marketing. Here are three practical solutions to help them do so.

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