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Facebook's head of ad tech: Five trends creating missed marketing opportunities

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13th Nov 2015
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Facebook’s head of ad tech David Jakubowski spoke on Web Summit’s marketing stage last week, where he presented five trends creating missed marketing opportunities and how to stay ahead of the competition.

“How many people experience FOMO (fear of missing out) in their lives ever? What does this have to do with marketing? In marketing, we have our own version of FOMO and this has become so pervasive, that in 2013 Oxford put it into the dictionary. And so as the world evolves so rapidly, this FOMO is turned into the fear of missed opportunities. We all have this.”

“Every one of these opportunities we’re missing out on is also an opportunity to be seized to get ahead of our competition, to connect our products, clients and our customers," Jakubowski explained.

The trends he outlined were:

1. Social connected world

At the very heart of the FOMO trend is social media. Sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat have created an environment where people tell the world what we like, dislike, what we’re feeling in the moment.

The challenge for marketers, Jakubowski said, is that it can be a “fragmented, confusing world” in terms of knowing how to interact with it.

He used an example of a personal negative experience he had with a large retailer. Jakubowski posted about this on social media and was “shocked” to be contacted by the retailer with an offer of putting things right.

“Just this offer turned me from a naysayer to a brand champion. Immediately, I felt cared for and I felt, wow, this brand has really got it going on and I want to be a brand advocate for them. They focused on what the customer was saying. Sounds simple.

“Marketing is and has always been about real people. In digital, some place along the way we lost sight of this. Simply by focusing on what people are saying and leveraging these vehicles to have a two-way dialogue, all the information we need is sitting there," Jakubowski explained.

He added that simply being where your customers are and listening to what they’re talking about will mean marketing opportunities can be leveraged. 

2. Mobile broke the internet

According to Jakubowski, mobile devices are the fastest adoption of mass communication technology that the world has ever seen.

“It took radio 38 years to reach 58 million users and took TV 13. But mobile in the last seven years has connected almost 2 billion people. That’s a staggering number,” he said.

But, he added, in 2014 more time was spent on mobile phones than on TV. The last time this happened was in the 1950s when TV overcame radio as the dominant form of mass communication.

“The last time this happened, think about what changed. Literally everything in our lives from how we get news to how we derive entertainment, how we watch sport. Everything in pop culture changed,” he said.

The technology we’ve been using for the last decade, as a result, doesn’t work on mobile. Cookies don’t work, formats are irrelevant and experiences have changed. The expectation of the consumer is far different, he explained.

“I expect the information to be presented to me on my phone as its most personal device I have. This device has changed everything and we can miss opportunities or change with it. So it sounds simple. be where your customers are," Jakubowski added.

3. Change what you measure

To really get to the information on what value you’re bringing through your marketing efforts, you need to be looking at the right metrics and measuring the right things.

According to Jakubowski, it’s not just cross-device you need to be looking at, but “cross everything” as more than 90% of sales still happen offline.

“Understand the customer journey. Ticket seller Live Nation is probably the best example of this. Around 93% of people who go to concerts discover that information on their phone, but almost all of sales happen on a computer.

“Across every category we know that four out of 10 transactions start on one device and move to another. By shifting measurement methodology and looking at people across everything Live Nation found two-thirds more of their sales tracked back to their marketing activities,” Jakubowski explained.

This means, he said, you’re probably doing a better job of marketing than you think.

4. Native is king

Jakubowski hates mobile popups and banners.

“The mobile banner might be the worst ad since the popup. We killed that thing because it was awful. The mobile banner is just as bad. Anyone remember when it came out first? Around 5 - 8% more clickthroughs, but it turns out it was just a mistake on your phone. That’s not marketing. Great marketers create value and that’s what this is about,” he explained.

Jakubowski used the example of app based tool builder Cheetah Mobile, who he said is one of the world’s most innovative in-app marketers.

Their app, App-Lock used to have banners at the bottom of the app. However, through data and research they found if they had side scrolling products that tied to what users are interested in, it increased conversion rates for marketers by 150%.

“The truth is we didn't need to go to college for marketing to figure this one out. I have an Irish mother and grandmother and they would never let me get away with the obnoxious interruption that these banners and popups do.

“So let your competition suck up banners, let them miss out on opportunities,” Jakubowski said.

5. Cut through the noise

The hardest thing about marketing, Jakubowski said, is sifting through the noise. As anyone with a marketing budget will know, the world is bringing opportunities all day long - it seems everyone has the solutions to our problems.

However, he warned attendees that they should beware. Use three words to apply to every opportunity that comes your way and stay focused on real people: accuracy, persistence and scale.

“Be self-critical of your own strategies and opportunities coming your way. Help your teams make sure that the source of people they’re getting access to are accurate. How are they validated who said your scale was that number? How do you know they’re real people? What kind of persistency do they have? These are all the kinds of questions you should be asking around accuracy, persistence and scale.

“So don’t get caught in the missed opportunities. Seize them and beat your competition to the punch,” Jakubowski said.

This article originally appeared on MyCustomer sister site BusinessZone.co.uk

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