There have been tons of reports of major brands entering into agreements with Facebook to advertise their products. Most recently, Ford Motor Company had a well known campaign for the Ford Focus that was covered in the media on Facebook, that included a spokes puppet “Doug”.
Doug made over 43,000 “friends” on Facebook, and was seen as a great campaign to get the Focus name out there. It was considered an enormous success. However, only a small part of their entire $95M campaign for focus was spent on Facebook… and was given at a discount.
See, in order to get brands interest, and to try to grow Facebook’s relationship with agencies and brands, they give significant discounts to Brand companies to advertise with Facebook. According to agency insiders, Ford received a significant discount in comparison to what would have happened if they try to buy the advertising via the Facebook Advertising Dashboard. The result I am told is that they paid more than half off the price.
Why? Facebook is trying to court brands and agencies and provide them customer service and unprecedented access to Facebook advertising. In order to do this, they need to make the agencies feel that they are “special” and with discounts and access, they know that they will get premium placement even if it knocks out marketers. While it is estimated that almost 95% of all money spent on Facebook comes from local companies, affiliates and marketers, they are always given worse treatment.
Anyone who has had to deal with Facebook’s customer service (or no service team) knows what I’m talking about.
It seems in order for Facebook to seem like a real company, they need the brands to pay more attention, even through more and more of the money in our industry is not from agencies, but instead from independent marketers and affiliates. Facebook is basically turning it’s back on the people who build their company, financed their success and pretending that they don’t owe our industry anything.