Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Dave Collins v. Linda Girard (aka search v. social)

I read two interesting articles today. The first was by Linda Girard of Pure Visibility. She discussed how Google was going to start charging advertisers when people clicked on the directions link in the paid search results, and she noted how this was similar to Google's click to call for mobile. Both are ways of catching and monetizing the flow of searchers who are close to making a purchase.

The second was by Dave Collins of Software Promotions. Dave described his experience advertising on Facebook. Unlike Google search advertising, where advertisers must interpret user's intent, Facebook offers rich demographic targeting. I can select my audience based on occupation, age, sex, location, etc. The thing I can't do is only advertise to people looking to make a purchase now. Unlike Google, Facebook has now way of capturing that intent. Dave did not see much in the way of sales over the time frame in which he ran his Facebook advertising experiment.

Well, I have a couple of thoughts:

  • The two articles illustrate what a gigantic transition it is switching between the two platforms. In particular, advertisers like Dave want a clear case for ROI which is easier to make on Google than on Facebook because you can target people closer to the point of purchase on Google.
  • I'm not that familiar with Dave's products, but based on his post, they're clearly high commitment, suggesting a longer lead time between first awareness and purchase.

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