Social Networks Will Need to Get More Accurate with Branded Ads

  • As the theory goes, Internet advertising is more effective than traditional models because advertisers can be sure to get their messages directly to the targeted audience.
  • But according to Peter Kafka writing for AllThingsD, that theory isn’t proving true. He suggests that these methods only work “for some stuff, some of the time.”
  • “An ad on the Web may do a better job of reaching its audience than, say, a magazine ad. But that doesn’t mean it does a good job,” writes Kafka.
  • According to data from Nielsen, which tracked a recent ad campaign aimed at “a manufacturer of women’s personal care products” designed to target women aged 25-54, the most accurate publisher got the ads in front of that targeted group only 40 percent of the time. Nearly half of the time, those ads were served to men.
  • The Nielsen study suggests that Facebook is a better candidate for targeted advertising than other sites, because of how much information the social network has about its 800 million users.
  • “The Web’s sorta-close, sorta-not targeting problem hasn’t hampered Google, obviously. But that’s because Google’s search ads respond directly to your input and your intent,” comments Kafka. “Now, Facebook, Google and everyone else are going after the branded ads that dominate TV, where the really big money lives. And if they want to get bigger bites of that, they’re going to have to get more accurate.”

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