Forrester Says Facebook and eCommerce Don’t Mix

Forrester Research just released a new report called “Will Facebook Ever Drive eCommerce?” and the folks at the Wall Street Journal have given us a sneak peek.

The report basically states that right now Facebook is not at all effective for driving eCommerce sales.

The study found that the average Facebook metrics are a 1% click-through rate and a 2% conversion rate. E-mail marketing, by comparison, has an 11% click-through rate and a 4% average conversion rate.

The reason for this is obvious. People don’t go to Facebook to shop. They primarily go to catch up with friends or play games. Forrester Research analyst Sucharita Mulpuru acknowledges that people will go to a Facebook brand page and “like” it in order to get a coupon, but that’s a fleeting interest that may have no impact on future sales (except, I suppose the sale connected to the one-time coupon use.)

Coca-Cola VP Talks About the Keys to Social Media Success

“The days of controlling the message are absolutely over. At best you’ll be invited in and you’ll get to co-create and participate with consumers.”

Wendy Clark, senior VP-integrated marketing communications and capabilities at the Coca-Cola Co., gave a presentation at the AdAge Digital Conference where she talked about how social media has completely changed the game for marketers. Though she was using her own multi-billion dollar company as a reference point, much of what she said applies to marketers at every level, from individuals promoting their own talents to small businesses and on up.

She talked about how over the years we’ve gone from delivering one message to the world, to delivering targeted variations, to the current climate where we create conversations that work two ways. She calls this new landscape, “liquid and linked.” Liquid because every piece of marketing has to spread out to the very furthest communication point and linked because it all has to relate back to the core message.

Twitter Releases New Tools for Individuals and Marketers

Twitter is not playing around. This week, the company announced several new tools designed to make the user experience better for the average Tweeter and the markeTweeter.

Adam Bain, Twitter’s president of revenue broke the big news at the AdAge Digital Conference yesterday and it’s got folks all . . . dare I say. . “a twitter!”

The first big step is the inclusion of geo-relevant ad targeting. Up until now, promoted ads were either on or off. There was no way to target them to users in a specific location, even though Twitter has that information for every person who uses the service. But now, Twitter has geo-targeted ad opportunities available in 210 US cities and 100 countries with more locations coming soon.

YouTube Adds Channels as Part of Major Overhaul

NBC, ABC, CBS, Fox, CW and YouTube? The Wall Street Journal is reporting on a major YouTube overhaul that will have the site acting more like a TV network than a repository for random, user-generated videos.

The article says that YouTube is prepared to spend up to 100 million dollars on content created exclusively for the site. Content that goes beyond Rebecca Black’s “Friday, Friday” and endless hours of animals and babies doing funny things. What YouTube is after, is content that will have people tuning in week after week, just like they do for their favorite shows on TV.

Macquarie Predicts Solid Growth for Display Ads

Macquarie Capital has just published their Ad Tracker report for 1Q 2011 and believe it or not, it’s AOL that came out on top.

Twice per quarter, the company analyzes display advertising sales on the homepages of YAHOO, AOL, YouTube, and MSN. Looking at the data from the first quarter of 2011, AOL won the award for the most improved player.

The company had the highest proportion of Oversized/Custom ad units (ex YouTube) at 26%, and it also had the highest percentage of purely brand-focused advertisers (which we view as a positive indicator of ad quality).

AOL’s new Project Devil program didn’t make the splash they’d hoped for, but Macquarie says we should see more of these large interactive ads in the second quarter.

Can’t Get Enough Ads? There’s an App for That

You know how people are always saying, “I wish there was a way to view only ads without that pesky content getting in the way?”

Okay, no one says that, but you have to admit that advertising is sometimes the most interesting and creative thing on the page. Not here at Marketing Pilgrim, certainly, but other places. That’s why Apple has released the new iAd Gallery App.

With the iAd Gallery App, you can scroll through a list of engaging iAds and watch them do their stuff. Because everyone deserves credit, the agency responsible for the ad is listed when you tap, along with a short paragraph explaining the ad function.

They also offer a neato browse wheel so you can flip through ads like a wheel of fortune. It doesn’t do anything different than the side scrolling version, but it sure looks cooler.

Enter the IAB Seal of Approval

After many months of talk about a set of self-policing rules for digital marketers, the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) has finally launched their Ad Network & Exchange Quality Assurance Certification program.

The new IAB guidelines is a 35-page document that covers such topics as Acquiring Inventory, an Online Media Rating System, Data Disclosure and methods of handling customer complaints. Ad networks who agree to follow a published set of guidelines will receive what they refer to as “the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval for digital marketing.”

For those of you born in the later half of the century, the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval was awarded to products that were tested and approved by the popular homemaking magazine. It started in the early 1900′s and was a highly recognized symbol of trust through the 40′s, 50′s and 60′s. If a product had that seal, then the consumer knew it was safe, reliable and a good buy.