The report, “Why Facebook is Failing Marketers” (free for Forrester subscribers), notes that more than seven in ten marketers already post updates to a branded Facebook page and approximately half buy paid ads on the social network. Despite this, marketers report Facebook is furnishing disappointing business value and that Facebook ads “generate less business value than display ads on other sites.”
Forrester notes that Facebook status updates are delivered to just 16% of a brand’s Facebook fans; by comparison, the average opt-in marketing email delivery rate exceeds 90%. In the footnotes, Elliott notes, “It’s safe to say that if your email service provider was only delivering messages to 16% of your mailing list, you wouldn’t think twice before firing them.”
The report concludes with recommendations for marketers and Facebook. I hope both parties are listening, because if big marketers yank their ad dollars and Facebook fails to evolve their ad products, Forrester predicts a further degrading user experience on Facebook.
What I really liked about this report is that it does not simply stop at what marketers are saying but also digs into how significantly Facebook’s potential to change advertising has been missed. As I noted in my post earlier this month, “Facebook's Missed Opportunity to Change Advertising As We Know It,” Facebook had promised to change the very nature of advertising with new forms of marketing based on social signals. Today, however, the social network offers advertising almost undifferentiated from that available on other highly trafficked websites. “Only approximately 10% to 15% of the ad impressions delivered on (Facebook) use social connections as a form of targeting,” according to a Facebook executive, leading Elliott to note that the social network “has become a Web 1.0-style ad seller.”
For more information on Forrester’s survey of marketing executives and what marketers and Facebook should do to improve marketing value on the social network, check out Nate Elliott’s blog post or buy or download the report at http://bit.ly/WhyFacebookIsFailingMarketers.