It might be an occupational side effect, but I can’t help but notice ads on social media that are supposed to work, but they don’t. I remember when I was around 11 and my mum asked me to help collect TV commercials to review for her boss, who was doing a marketing course. This might have been the time when I fell in love with marketing, and chose to do marketing media and marketing management alongside my main Literature BA and PhD journalism. No matter how much I tried to fight it, I was infected by the marketing bug at an early age. Below you will find an analysis of a famous UK Bank’s Facebook ad, and hopefully some tips on how to avoid similar blunders.
The Facebook Ad
As you can see above, I was a part of the chosen demographic as the sponsored post was shown on my timeline. It is a controversial topic, as you can see from some of the comments. Once you look at the post, you will see that it got 26 comments and shares. But not all engagement is created equal., as you can see.
What’s Wrong With the Concept?
The main problem is that the marketing agency setting up the ad didn’t do the market research before they started the campaign. A simple survey or a free statistics report available from one of the internet sources would have told them what people really think about credit cards, and that the lead generation campaign could backfire. Never start building a sales funnel without knowing your market. I usually sit down with my client before I start working on their campaign and sales funnel, and try to understand not only their business, but also their potential customers.
Does the Advertiser Know the Customer?
The simple answer is no. It is likely that the marketing agency had an approved Facebook advertisiing budget, and they are just blowing it freely. Why do I say that? There is a simple trick to find out why the post appeared in my news feed: here it goes. You click on the button: “why am I seeing this” and Facebook will tell you exactly why.
It is a pretty broad target market, isn’t it? First of all, not everyone over 25 wants a credit card. In fact, older people tend not to have one, especially if they are pensioners. There are no other demographic targets set, apart from living in the UK and being over 25. If the credit card company wanted to spend their advertising budget smarter, they would have chosen people who were actually interested in their credit score, looking to move house, book a holiday, etc.
Where are the Postive Brand Associations?
I can see that the company was trying to communicate the benefits of the product, but they kind of failed. They didn’t get the right brand associations and did more damage than good. Just have a look at some of the comments below.
The campaign certainly didn’t work for branding, and didn’t help the company create a positive buzz about the card.
Negative Feedback and Facebook Ads
The marketing agency didn’t only fail to add people to the company’s sales funnels, but they also increased the cost of advertising. How? Facebook has a complicated ad algorithm that increases the cost per click or impression every time there is a negative feedback, such as someone clicking on the button: “I don’t want to see this”. Judging from the comments, there might have been quite a few.
Conclusion and Recommendations
If you want to use Facebook ads to add people to your sales funnels, it is important that you test the market and measure engagement, feedback, and reach. You also have to get your targeting right. Creating an ideal customer profile will help you identify your niche to reach, and reduce your advertising costs, too.
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