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As Facebook's walled garden is slowly scaled back, sophisticated marketers offer ongoing insight to company itself

Daniel Slotwiner

Facebook's aim to shake off the perception that it is a fortress of information, collectively known along with Google as the 'walled gardens' or the 'duopoly', places it in the unique position of learning from the marketers themselves, according to Daniel Slotwiner, director of advertising research at Facebook.

While marketers are quick to highlight the growing threat posed by digital advertising budgets being concentrated in the industry’s walled gardens, i.e. Facebook and Google, it is a two way street as "we get pushed by the most sophisticated marketers around," he continued.

"While some are disruptive marketers many are established. They tell us a lot about what they know as well, particularly in areas like television advertising."

As marketers try to determine what portion of their budget will go to Facebook, primary questions around ROI and video persist, Slotwiner notes. Mobile is still a work in progress when it comes to video. “People see the potential, but they understand that we don’t know a lot about how to do this well yet on mobile,” said Slotwiner.

He added that "many marketers look to reach a particular segment or person and I think there’s a natural assumption that video is going to be the best possible impression to put in front of someone if they will watch it,” he said. “I think what we need to figure out is what the creative needs are to make that successful."

Brands also want to know how the relationship between video duration and outcomes; how video performs in the context of display, search and other Facebook formats; and cross-channel audience targeting and measurement, according to Slotwiner.

He sees a growing focus on cross-channel and placing the right message in front of the right prospect.

Some brands are asking about sequencing and priming as well. “If you know you’re going to reach someone on a digital platform and you’re also reasonably likely to reach them on TV, that information can be leveraged to get more value out of the TV investment,” he said.

Nonetheless, there’s a tendency in some quarters to rely on comfortable metrics as well, among them CPM or cost per view. “Nobody is really satisfied with that and understand that is probably not a good proxy,” Slotwiner said. “But until we as an industry make it possible to make these tradeoffs more easily people, will default to that.”

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