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Facebook exec: Getting it right on mobile is more important

PHILADELPHIA  – A Facebook executive at eTail East said that it is crucial for retailers to get it right in mobile because they have fewer chances to succeed than they do with in-store and on desktops.

During the “Facebook for Retailers” session, the Facebook executive discussed how mobile advertising takes place on smaller screens, so marketers are forced to compress promotions and ads to engage consumers. Mobile has proved to be a big driver in Facebook’s success, as evidenced by the medium’s growing ad revenue.

“What mobile is doing to merchandizing is bringing higher value messages to people with smaller real estate,” said Nicolas Franchet, head of global ecommerce at Facebook, Menlo Park, CA. “Everyone has their mobile phone. It means that you have fewer chances to get it right.

“When a user visits your stores you can show them thousands of products,” he said. “With the invent of ecommerce there was already this idea of compression. You can only show me a few hundred products if I go to your Web site.

“What we’re seeing today is you can only show me a handful of products on my phone, so you have to get it more right than you do on your Web site.”

Mobile consumers
It should come as no shock that consumers are on mobile at all times of the day and in all locations.

According to Mr. Franchet, 819 million of Facebook’s 1.15 billion active users are accessing Facebook via mobile.

Once marketers acknowledge that this is where their consumers are, they must cater their campaigns in a new way to address the medium and device.

Through mobile, and specifically through Facebook, marketers can take advantage of the information that consumers offer to target specific consumers with specific products and personalized ads.

Facebook offers brands the ability to target very narrow groups of people based on age, location, school, and friends. Marketers can use this data to ensure that their advertising is helpful and not disruptive.

Mobile Facebook
On mobile devices, Facebook offers marketers the opportunity to place sponsored posts within users’ newsfeeds. This gives marketers prime real estate to promote a product.

Facebook policy is that marketers can include up to 20 percent of text within these sponsored posts.

According to Mr. Franchet, one company that used mobile Facebook effectively was Rosetta Stone.

The company ran a back-to-school campaign on Facebook last year and drove 500,000 claims for a promotional offer in the course of four weeks. Seventy percent of those claims came from mobile.

Dating site AYI also saw much success with its Facebook ad, seeing more than a 200 percent increase in application downloads since leveraging mobile app install ads on Facebook (see story).

“Our users, your customers, have decided that mobile is where they’re going to consume most of their information, so you as marketers have to bring your product to that platform, but you are experiencing compression as a result of this,” Mr. Franchet said.

“Mobile forces you to use every piece of data that you have available to you to get it right and really show our users, their friends, your customers, the products that they’re most likely to be interested in,” he said. “And you can draw from lots of data, who they are, where they live, who they know, etc. It’s a very exciting element of targeting.”

Final Take
Rebecca Borison is editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York