This opinion follows ThinkTV fronted a session entitled ‘Not all Reach is Equal’, where Dr. Karen Nelson-Field presented the next iteration of the Benchmark Research series. In response, Facebook head of CPG Dan Sinfield penned 'ThinkTV research proves value of Facebook. Read this first here.
To be clear this CPM work was not commissioned by ThinkTV, hence the reason it was not included in follow-up materials of theirs. To help the debate, I would like to respond to a few issues, and point out some of the finer detail that seems to have been missed.
Firstly, your article fails to report on the second part of the presentation which completely changes the context of this commentary, that being understanding the importance of the difference between cost parity and value delivered.
To clarify, I did not say Facebook is comparable when it is 1/3rd the price. I said it would need to be 1/3rd of the price just to be cost comparative with TV.
However, the comparison was provided to highlight the real focus of the study and that is that being cost comparative is not the same as being value comparative. This is akin to how people wrongly interchange the terms effective and efficient. Even with cost parity, the advertiser still sacrifices significant sales per impression. For Facebook this result was a 66% lower sales impact. This needs to be highlighted and considered by any brand marketer when considering inventory to support their business.
Adding to this, ThinkTV’s recent Benchmark results show that advertising decay is far quicker on Facebook and YouTube. This means that ad impact on sales is largely redundant after a week, at which time a new impression needs to be served to maintain any impact amongst the already exposed audience.
This results in increased frequency and as you rightly point out, capping will help but again detracts from the true learning which is that the impression on Facebook does not generate as great an impact on sales in comparison to TV at the first impression and decays from memory faster. So this compounds the opportunity loss.
What this research is saying is that TV is around three times more effective in terms of initial sales than Facebook and has an impact for 10 times longer. So focusing on the upfront CPM, when the value of an impression goes far deeper than that, is like looking at half the picture- and maybe not the most important part if your objective is business growth.
By Dr Karen Nelson-Field