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“Comment piece on Facebook boycott” .. Bill Portlock, Marketing Metrix

by on July 4, 2020 in FaceBook, Latest News, Lead Article, News you can use, Social Media

“Comment piece on Facebook boycott” .. Bill Portlock, Marketing Metrix

By Bill Portlock, founder and CEO, Marketing Metrix

The Facebook advertising boycott, which has already seen 160 companies suspend campaigns from the social media platform, is gathering pace.

Unilever has become the latest major brand to pause advertising on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter news feeds; Coca-Cola has suspended advertising on all social media for 30 days.

These blue-chip brands join the likes of Levi Strauss, Starbucks and Diageo in pulling campaigns as a response to the Stop Hate for Profit campaign.

As an LGBT-run business, we fully support Stop Hate For Profit. But we can also offer key insights into the marketing quandary emerging from this episode: where should brands spend the social media budgets they’re saving?

The answer lies in econometric modelling and attribution systems such as Omniatt. They can be used to optimise media spend by identifying where brands should place their budgets for the best returns. This will be of particular use to brands when they are cancelling campaigns on a major channel like Facebook.

We are currently working with a large brand that has cancelled advertising with Facebook to help it understand where it can best reinvest the money.  

The first step in the process is to look at the impact Facebook has on the brand’s sales unilaterally. The next stage is to formulate how the brand’s performance on Facebook compares to other channels. From there, we are able to advise with certainty the best course of action the brand can take to rejig its media spend without losing any impact – and, in fact, potentially increase revenues.

Critically, the analysis also deals with diminishing returns. When brands cancel Facebook there will naturally be a temptation to simply pour all of the money saved into a single channel; usually one that is deemed to be successful from a media spend and ROI point of view.

Diminishing returns analysis will, for instance, determine how much money can be spent on TV advertising before effectiveness plateaus or even drops off. It’s an approach to modelling that means every recommendation about how brands should allocate budget is justified – no more throwing good money after bad.

There are recent examples of this approach in practice.

We helped The Salvation Army reshape its fundraising programme following GDPR’s introduction, which meant the organisation was keen to rethink cold mail recruitment.

Developing a suite of algorithms allowed the charity to make substantial savings without massively impacting response.

For brands quitting social media, now is the ideal time to stand back and analyse each advertising channel to see where quick gains can be made. As noted, they shouldn’t rely on throwing budget blind at a channel they think might make the best alternative.

Taking a stand on issues that matter to consumers should not mean abandoning key, previously valuable marketing strategies without having a plan in place to make advertising spend work hard elsewhere.

With data science pointing the way brands that want to stop hate can still make a profit.


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