According to the Wall Street Journal “Procter & Gamble Co., the biggest advertising spender in the world, will move away from advertising on Facebook Inc. that targets specific consumers after deciding the practice has limited effectiveness”. OMG Facebooks ads ineffective?! What is this world coming to?
Marc Pritchard, P&G’s chief marketing officer, said the company has realized it took the targeting strategy too far. “We targeted too much and we went too narrow,” he said in an interview, “and now we’re looking at: What is the best way to get the most reach but also the right precision?”
There are some key insights here, but I think the biggest is that, for some products, narrow targeting doesn’t work. Sure, you can laser target your audience, but targeting people who go to the gym with air fresheners may not work.
The other key learning is that you really need to understand what drive the “moment of truth” in which a prospect become a customer. Nielsen reports 77% of purchases in the grocery store are unplanned so P&G might have achieved a better ROI with some POP displays rather than ads on Facebook.
The fallout from P&G’s announcement went right to Facebook’s stock, but you have to wonder if the spotlight on Facebook is beginning to fade. There are some developers who are launching ad blockers for Facebook and it has been my experience that ads on Facebook are not a good solution for most CPG.