Tag Archives: facebook

Demand Generation vs Demand Fulfillment

There are some examples of digital advertising generating demand for a product, but they are unpredictable –  a viral sensation that is hard to manufacture.

It seems that the real money is on digital media fulfilling the demand created by more predictable “mass-media” tactics – TV, PR etc.

The brilliantly controversial Ad Contrarian has said that the internet shouldn’t really be used for advertising at all, or at least only for Google ads and certainly not for those tiny little Facebook ads.

He points out that targeting ads in a highly specific way, based on demographics, does not seem to work in building a strong mass-market brand. This goes against the new conventional wisdom, which is that targeting will change everything.

However, about a year ago, Facebook released its new FBX ads. These ads are not targeted based on the huge amount of demographic information Facebook hold. Instead they are based on your browsing history, on promoting things that you have already looked at on other sites.

So, what Facebook is doing, is moving from trying to generate new demand, but rather fulfilling the demand that has already been generated.


I see a travel show on TV suggesting a trip to Bali. Or someone mentions their trip, and it sounds cool. The demand has been created. So I check it out on a web site (and get a cookie), but I’m not ready to buy the holiday now.

The genius of Google is that – whenever I am ready – I will search for it. And Google will be there at that very moment to take their slice.

WIth FBX, Facebook will be showing me adverts for Bali now. They will also have a chance of “fulfilling” the demand that was generated elsewhere.

And perhaps, with this, Facebook also have a chance of fulfilling people’s expectations that they can make money from all of the time people spend on their platform.

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You and I are gonna live forever.

We are some way from achieving biological immortality. But, as we share more and more of ourselves online, our digital presences and relationships will outlive us all.

A friend of mine died recently. It was incredibly sad as he was only 33, and it happened so unexpectedly.

But something happened that was a very new experience for me. My friend’s Facebook page became a sort of social shrine. Hundreds of messages started flooding on to his wall from people who wanted to share their feelings with others who were also in mourning.

At least for me, it turned into quite a positive and totally social experience: There was something uplifting about seeing this man’s spirit live on in the photos, messages, and minds of so many who knew him.

What used to be merely a cliché – that we all live on in people’s memories – showed itself to be quite literally true, thanks to people’s newfound willingness to share their feelings on the web for others to see.

As the web learns more and more info about you and your habits, I guess the remaining question is: what do you want your digital legacy to be? Does it change the way you act when you consider that everything you are doing online (and soon maybe everything you are doing anywhere) is being stored for eternity?

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disrupting expectation + topicality

Burger King launches a new campaign on Facebook: you de-friend ten people to claim your free whopper. As they put it on the promotional web site: “You like your friends, but you love a whopper”

photo by Damien Toman

This works because it has Conversational Capital. Its playfully harsh approach disrupts the expectation we have of campaigns on Facebook: We are so used to Facebook applications asking us to spam our friends, that being asked to actually remove friends really shocks the system.

Also, this campaign comes at the right time. Topicality is essential to conversation – something that major brands often struggle with if they use 6-9 month processes to create campaigns. But this campaign taps into a trend for reducing and simplifying the friends lists that have got frankly out of hand:

“Social graph shrinkage: Sure, the total population of social media users will continue to grow but with the rise of mososo and a resurgence of in person networking, many consumers will scale back on both the number of accounts they maintain AND their number of so-called “friends” and “followers.” We’ll start using online social platforms to stay connected with the people we actually know and care about. Suddenly, being Facebook friends with your mom will seem less ridiculous than following 4,000 strangers on Twitter.” Greg Verdino, in Peter Kim’s Social Media Predictions 2009

Amen to that.

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