Can Facebook answer it’s advertising critics?

Written by Tom Coates


advertising

Companies of all sizes, whether operating on a local, national or international level, are increasingly turning to Facebook Advertising as a marketing solution.

Unlike more traditional advertising platforms, Facebook offers detailed control of target audiences, segmented by location, interests, job titles, and other parameters. It’s a powerful tool that appeals to all budgets; businesses with a large enough budget can utilise it to reach millions of people worldwide, and smaller businesses wishing to target customers in their immediate radius can spend as little as £10 on an advertising campaign.

One of the platform’s other strengths are its measurement and metrics features, which offer advertisers an insight into the success of the campaign, including the most engaged audience demographic, the achieved reach and link clicks. But many in the industry have questioned the openness and transparency of Facebook’s metrics, while others have begun to query the overall effectiveness of digital advertising.

FACEBOOK’S RESPONSE

Facebook was recently forced to acknowledge measurement errors identified by several of its larger advertising partners, and has been criticised by marketing industry leaders for attempting to play ‘both the player and the referee’. Facebook vice president Nicola Mendelsohn has hit back at the claims that the platform is not transparent enough, and that it is failing to report campaign results accurately.

She said: “We take this commitment to being open and transparent very seriously. We are committed to providing the tools and partnerships to make that possible for all advertisers.

“Openness is not something we switch on in the good times and off in the bad. If anything, it is even more important to have it there when things are perhaps not going so well.”

Facebook already submits to independent audits conducted by the Media Ratings Council and has recently upped its total number of ad measurement verification partners to 24, in an effort to assuage the recent criticism of its platform’s transparency. The company is also testing new tools, which it believes will deliver more accurate measurements of an advertising campaign’s reach and overall effectiveness.

Facebook’s ad revenue continues to reach record highs and there is no tangible evidence that its key advertisers will soon abandon the platform, but when partners investing millions of dollars in your platform begin to raise concerns it is sensible to listen. It appears that Mendelsohn and her colleagues at the top of the business are taking the recent criticism seriously, and the result, for advertisers large and small, could be more transparency and more accurate campaign measurements across the board.

The problem doesn’t end here,
Read more about transparency in digital advertising

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