Comprar + tirar + comprar

“Comprar, tirar, comprar” es un documental, dirigido por Cosima Dannoritzer, que nos revela el secreto de la obsolescencia programada, el motor de la economía moderna.

Hace un recorrido por la historia de una práctica empresarial que consiste en la reducción deliberada de la vida de un producto para incrementar su consumo porque, como ya publicaba en 1928 una influyente revista de publicidad norteamericana, “un artículo que no se desgasta es una tragedia para los negocios”.

Baterías que se ‘mueren’ a los 18 meses de ser estrenadas, impresoras que se bloquean al llegar a un número determinado de impresiones, bombillas que se funden a las mil horas… ¿Por qué, pese a los avances tecnológicos, los productos de consumo duran cada vez menos?

Comprar tirar comprar (Cosima Dannoritzer) from RubyNRK on Vimeo.

Facebook Exchange: A New Way For Advertisers To Target Specific Users With Real-Time Bid Ads

Facebook Exchange Ads Cookies

Facebook is testing and will soon launch Facebook Exchange, a real-time bidding ad system where visitors to third-party websites are marked with a cookie, and can then be shown real-time bid ads related to their web browsing when they return to Facebook. This retargeting option could be a huge money maker for Facebook as it will allow for more relevant direct advertising.

For example a travel site could serve ads about a flight to Hawaii to someone who almost bought a flight on their site. Advertisers might pay big premiums for highly-accurate targeting. Users will be able to opt out of Facebook Exchange via third-party demand-side platforms, but they can’t opt out of the program completely from within the social network.

Facebook just notified TechCrunch that Exchange is currently in testing with eight advertising demand-side platforms, and it will become more widely available in the next few weeks for traditional Facebook sidebar ads charged at cost-per-thousand-impressions, but not Sponsored Stories or mobile.

The demand-side platforms currently testing Facebook Exchange, or FBX as some Facebook employees are calling it internally, are: TellApart, Triggit, Turn, DataXu, MediaMath, AppNexus, TheTradeDesk, and AdRoll.

Here’s how Facebook Exchange works:

  1. A user visits a travel site that’s hired a DSP rigged up with Facebook Exchange
  2. A cookie is dropped on that user’s computer, typically when they’ve shown purchase intent
  3. If the user fails to make a purchase, or the advertiser wants to market to them more, the DSP contacts Facebook and gives them the user they wish to target’s anonymous User ID
  4. The advertiser pre-loads creative for ads that would target that user
  5. When the user visits Facebook it recognizes the cookie dropped by the DSP
  6. The DSP is notified and allowed to make a real-time bid to show the user ads
  7. The DSPs with the highest bids get their highly-targeted ads shown to the user
  8. If the user disapproves of being shown the ad and ‘X’s it out, they’re shown a link to the DSP where they can opt out of future Facebook Exchange ads

Facebook’s Annie Ta tells me the idea behind Exchange is to let advertisers show users more relevant ads. To date, Facebook has been generally viewed as a home for institutional or brand advertising. However, it’s seen as much less useful to direct marketers than search ads because users on Facebook haven’t shown purchase intent as when they search for a related keyword on engines like Google.

Facebook Exchange could change all that.

For example, Ford could drop a cookie on a user who looks at the new Escape SUV on its website, but doesn’t request a local quote. Then Ford could bid to show that user ads stating “Ford Escape: Just $21,000″. These would be much more relevant than generic Ford ads showing sedans or trucks that the user might not be interested in. And Ford would likely be willing to pay a high price to reach that qualified lead.

[Update: As Bloomberg’s Douglas MacMillan notes, FBX could also power time-sensitive advertising because ads are bid on and delivered to users in real-time as the browse the site. That permits urgent advertising, such as ads directing users to a turn on currently airing TV show or sporting event.]

Facebook may make some users uneasy in order to cash in on this new revenue stream, though. Cookie-based ad retargeting is common across the web, and Facebook is going the protecting privacy by not allowing advertisers to combine cookie retargeting with the with the extensive biographical, social, and behavioral data Facebook has on its users. Still, some people just dislike being targeted. Those people will be able to use a third-party opt-out on the sites of demand-side platforms to stop receiving the cookies.

However, I asked if Facebook would offer users an easy, one-click way to deny the social network the ability to target them based on cookies from all DSPs, and it said that won’t be offered for now. That’s in part because it can’t control whether DSPs drop cookies or not, though it can make the call of whether to use them. Not allowing retargeting to be combined with Facebook’s own ad targeting data is a pretty strong privacy protection, and makes Facebook Exchange ads the same as any other retargeted ads around the web.

If investors were looking for clues as to how Facebook could ever get to the $104 billion valuation it IPO’d at, Facebook Exchange should excite them. It shows Facebook is willing to shift towards slightly more aggressive advertising mechanisms.

While just a year ago Facebook ad targeting was only based on user-entered personal information and interests, now both browsing behavior and activity within apps, for example listening to a specific artist on Spotify. Facebook already leads the overall US display advertising market which totaled $12.4 billion in 2011, with the social network’s share of market revenue growing to 14% in 2011 from 11.5% in 2010. If Facebook Exchange gains traction, Facebook could beat eMarketer’s estimate that Facebook’s share will grow to 16.8% of the predicted $15.39 billion market in 2012.

But most importantly for the long-term health of Facebook,  FBX means that users could see more ads for things they actually want to buy, rather than viewing the ads as annoying distractions.

[Image Credit: Andrew MagillAcquisio]


Social Media: Do You Know Where Your Target Audience Is?

As a marketer, do you know whether your target market is active on social media platforms? If so, do you know which social media entities your customers frequent most often?

The proliferation of social media sites and increased social media usage means there’s a good chance that your gut feel about your audience’s social media preferences may not be correct. Are you willing to bet your budget on it, especially when about nine out of ten marketers uses social media to achieve marketing results according to eMarketer?

Social media isn’t just for kids any more! Tweet This

Over half of social media participants are between 25 and 44 years old, according to data from Pingdom. Further, the percent of participants under 17 (5%) is not that much larger than the percent of participants over 65 (2%). This is surprising since the lower cohort includes high school students. 

With two thirds of users over 35, the average age of a Facebook user is 40.5  according to Pingdom. Tweet This

Eight years after its 2004 beginnings as a social media site for college students, Facebook is no longer focused on its original demographic. The reason for the Facebook age shift probably has more to do with the underlying population distribution than Facebook’s allure for people in their thirties and forties causing these segments to grow faster, although this isn’t included in the Pingdom data. (Here are Facebook tips to help your marketing.)

By contrast just over half of Twitter users are 35 or older. The average age of a Twitter user is 37.3 years old, a number that’s declined in the last two and a half years.

Almost four-fifths of LinkedIn users are 35 or more. The average user is 44.2. Given that LinkedIn focuses on professionals, it’s not surprising that its user base is older.

Social media sites tend to attract slightly more women (51.25%) than men (48.75%). Interestingly, Facebook and Twitter have a more skewed divide, 60% female to 40% male. This makes sense since women socialize more in real life. Further, despite more equality in terms of family responsibilities, women tend to make more of the social engagements. 

Almost 80% of Pinterest users are women, according to Pingdom, making it the most female-dominated site. As a magnet for online scrapbooking, fashion styles and home design, it’s no surprise Pinterest attracts so many more women. To increase male usage, Pinterest would need to show marketers how to develop and share content appealing to men such as sports and cars (assuming a PG-approach). The challenge is that these photographs and images often have copyright and licensing issues.

As for marketers, they’re sticking to the mainstream social media options. Over 80% of companies are planning to use Facebook in 2012 because Facebook is where consumers spend a good portion of their social media time. While this makes sense for B2C and not-for-profit marketers, it’s less effective for B2B marketers. They should consider using more business oriented social media such as LinkedIn, Slideshare (owned by LinkedIn but not tracked) and Quora. (Here’s other research and insights on how marketers are using social media and what they’re planning.) 

By contrast, just over half of marketers are using Twitter. What is surprising is that slightly more than a third of marketers use YouTube since video is an important medium for showing off 360° product views and providing useful how-to information.

BTW, when assessing the Pingdom data, it’s important to note that YouTube, the second biggest social media site, isn’t present. The reason for this is that many tracking services classify YouTube as a video site along with NetFlix and others, not with social media entities.

When using social media for marketing, it’s critical to understand your target audience, how they engage on social media platforms and where they spend their time. Just looking at a top level could be misleading.

What do you think of these research findings? How are you planning to use social media in the coming year?

Pinterest is Open for Business—So What’s Next For Brands?

Brands are so ubiquitous on Pinterest that it’s hard to believe that until this week, Pinterest’s terms of service specified that the platform was limited to “personal, non-commercial use.”

Pinterest has officially welcomed businesses with the introduction of new tools and new business terms of service, which makes it explicit that the platform can be used for commercial purposes.

Wednesday’s announcement could be a sign of how Pinterest might evolve as a tool for brands as the site continues to grow in popularity. The site drew 26.7 million unique visitors last month, up from 3.3. million in the year-ago period, according to research firm comScore.

“On the surface, this isn’t a hugely actionable move for most brands, but it is certainly symbolic of where Pinterest is going and what it can be as far as a platform for connecting brands and their fans,” says Matt Wurst, director of digital communities at 360i.

Although the new free business accounts don’t look different from other Pinterest pages, they are a clear indication that Pinterest is opening the site up for business and is looking toward a monetization model.

“Everything eventually has to monetize,” says Darrell Whitelaw, executive creative director at IPG Media Lab. “This news shows they’re being forward thinking.”

While Pinterest won’t provide a specific number of businesses that have pages, in a blog post Pinterest product manager Cat Lee acknowledged that “thousands of businesses have become part of our community, giving great ideas, content and inspiration to people on Pinterest.”

Lee highlighted Anthropologie,Whole Foods, the Smithsonian, and Amazon, in particular, as inspirational brands on Pinterest and presented case studies from Jetsetter, Allrecipes, Etsy, Organized Interiors, and Petplan Insurance, including analytics on how they have used Pinterest to drive traffic.

The business pages will make it easier for brands to showcase their content, according to Alison Feldmann, editor-in-chief, Etsy.

“Business pages provide brands with an authentic platform to drive loyalty and engagement within their community. Curating new trends, perspectives, and products gives brands an exciting way to express their point of view and distinctive voice,” Feldmann tells us.

The business pages may or may not change the way brands create content, but they will likely inspire brands to come up with creative ways to use the platform. For instance, now businesses will be able to embed pins and boards on third-party sites and brands can incorporate elements of Pinterest on their own websites.

“By sharing Pinterest content via buttons and widgets, brands can reach engaged, relevant audiences through their own online platforms,” says Feldmann.

To provide ideas about how to use Pinterest for business, Pinterest has, fittingly, set up a Pinterest for Business page with best practices, case studies, and other creative solutions.

Marketers and agencies are seeing the new business pages as a sign that Pinterest is looking toward a way to generate revenue.

“Promoted posts would be a no-brainer,” says Toby Barnes, product strategy director at AKQA. “But just looking at the response some consumers have had to promoted posts on Facebook makes it clear that when it happens, it will have to be played out in a sensitive way.”

[Money Pinned: Saragosa69 via Shutterstock, Pinboard Image: Flickr user Fang Guo]