My Problem with Facebook FBX

No Comments// Posted in Marketing, Reviews, Uncategorized by on 10.31.12.

I’m a huge fan of facebook marketing and have had great success with it both as a social tool and ad platform. That’s why when Facebook Exchange (or FBX) was launched in September I was excited to start testing.

If you haven’t heard about FBX here’s a quick rundown of the service. It’s a retargeting service which means a small piece of code will be placed on your website. That code will tag people (with a cookie) who visit your site and will pass this information along to Facebook who will then allow you to display ads on Facebook specifically to your past visitors.

Retargeting is an amazing concept. It’s perfect for certain types of conversion oriented sites which have a large percentage of their visitors considering future purchases. Google Adwords has offered retargeting since March 2009 so it’s a proven concept.

The Facebook platform is even better suited for retargeting than Adwords in my opinion. The cost of ads on Facebook is generally lower than on on most other networks and that’s due mainly to the fact that it’s difficult to use (no built in off-site conversion tracking) and partly because there’s less purchase intent when someone is browsing their friend’s party pictures then searching for or researching something. What Facebook can offer though is a lot of impressions at low costs so if you already have a person’s interest Facebook is a great place to retarget them.

What I dislike with Facebook FBX (sorry it took so long to get to this point) is that they’re not offering this service directly to advertisers. Instead what they chose to do is offer the ability to remarket to a bunch of Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs) who can then sell Facebook retargeting services to advertisers.

There are two reasons I dislike this:

  • First – It creates a middle man for the ads which will inflate the cost to advertisers unnecessarily.
  • Second – There’s no standardized pricing for the service. Typically what the DSPs do is add a certain mark-up onto the cost per click. But as an advertiser how do you know that the price you’re paying is fair? It’s not in most advertisers budget or ability to properly test multiple DSPs so it’ll leave most advertisers choosing blind and hoping they’ve made the decision.
  • If I were Facebook I would integrate retargeting into the existing Facebook ad platform, simplifying things and reducing ad cost for the advertiser thus increasing revenue for Facebook.

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    © 2012 Peter Elmhirst

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