Facebook will outperform traditional media every time says Supre

By Brendan Coyne | 13 March 2013
Catherine Taouk

Dollar for dollar, Facebook will outperform TV advertising campaigns every time. That is, according to Facebook–centric marketer Mike Watkins of Mudo Media. He’s sick of Facebook being a marketing bolt-on and wants to be first to the table when it comes to budgets and campaigns.

That era may arrive; maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon.  Don’t take his word for it, though, Watkins' claims are verified by youth-focused fashion chain Supre.

Catherine Taouk, former international brand manager at the girl/teenage clothing retailer, initially laughed at the “kid trying to tell her about Facebook”. Back in 2008 she knew Myspace was the daddy… But a $500 trial changed her mind.

Presenting at Adtech Sydney yesterday, the two suggested Facebook marketing can drive almost double the amount of in-store footfall (37% of girls surveyed in Supre stores every six months over two years said Facebook made them go to the shop versus 21% influenced by traditional media).

Watkins, who has managed Supre’s Facebook marketing for the last four years after cold-calling the firm and earning a shot at its budget, claimed cost per acquisition for the company via Facebook was $0.50 compared to $6 via traditional media.

In terms of conversion, he claimed every Supre dollar spent on Facebook marketing had delivered $192 in return. Traditional return on investment (ROI) calculation, via media agencies, was more subjective, he said.  Moreover, the retailer knew its customers, reach was qualified, customers marketed to themselves and campaigns that were not effective could be rapidly pulled, tweaked and re-launched.

“Campaigns could be optimised in so many different ways,” agreed Taouk. “With traditional media there is an instant spike but that would taper off. With Facebook you can create and drive a different message automatically. That results in low consumer immunity [to longer-term static messages]”

Running three day “bursts” would enable brands to see what worked for their social media audience, said Watkins. “Then we would pull them out for 10 days and find out what worked and what didn’t and then put out better messages for another three days."

However, despite the qualified customers, massive ROI claims versus traditional media, campaign agility, monitoring, targeting and an engaged online community of almost half a million young Australian girls, Supre spends just “10-12 per cent” of its total marketing budget on digital versus traditional.

Why doesn’t it spend more? Taouk, who left the family firm in August after 15 years driving the brand, suggested changing of the old guard would take time.

“That is other people’s decision. Mindsets are still traditional. But, over time, it will get there.”

“The way media consumption is shifting to online and to mobile,” she told AdNews, “I am 100 per cent certain it will.”

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