The timing of the announcement by GM this week that it was pulling advertising from Facebook was doubtless designed to inflict as much damage as possible on the Facebook IPO. But it failed.
Was it sour grapes from GM that their market capitalisation is just $30 billion with Facebook’s set to hit $100 billion after it floated? Or are GM’s analytics so blunt that they don’t rate the exposure on Facebook as of any consequence, and just measure click thrus as evidence of success? Who knows?
But Ford obviously see that advertising is all about exposure, not just the instant, and measurable, rate of clicks. Just because a click-thru rate can be measured doesn’t mean that only clicks have any validity. Just like all other forms of advertising, the subliminal effect of brand marketing is significant, something Ford seems to understand and GM don’t.
In response to GM’s announcement it will stop its $10 million annual spend on Facebook (which, as a percentage of their annual $1.78 billion advertising spend, is actually insignificant) Ford has said they plan to increase theirs. Ford Tweeted:
It’s all about the execution. Our Facebook ads are effective when strategically combined with engaging content & innovation.
And they’re right. Online advertising isn’t just about click-thrus (in fact, for the savvy, it’s very little about click-thrus in many areas) and all about effective exposure in the right places.
Silly GM. Clever Ford.