NEWS15 July 2016

Facebook’s metrics chief admits lack of ad measurement sensitivity

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US — The measurable impact of social media sites on advertising remains uncertain, Facebook’s chief metrics officer has said in a journal article. 

Brad Smallwood, VP of measurement and insights and head of the social media site’s marketing science team, has written an article in the Journal of Advertising Research: Resisting the siren call of popular digital measures: Facebook research shows no link between trendy online measures and ad effectiveness

In it, he describes Facebook’s initial struggles with assessing the value of key metrics, such as building a brand’s fan base and using the topic data. Following its own research, the social media site found those metrics to have no impact on brands’ performance, and has subsequently lowered the status of metrics such as ‘likes', ‘shares', and message posts. 

"At Facebook, although we are proud of diminishing the stature of irrelevant metrics, we share the responsibility for some that still litter your dashboards," Smallwood wrote. 

"We are determined to move forward, look for real measures of value instead of proxies, and move away from the CPM economy to the value economy.

"It will take courage, effort, and science to abandon the comfort of the easily measured and replace it with the relentless focus on value. When this is achieved, however, marketing will have the tools to drive organic revenue growth and the authority to lead our organisations forward." 

In his article, Smallwood encourages C-suite executives to become more data-literate and elevate the role of analytics in the decision-making process. 


1 Comment

4 years ago

Presumably this is why Facebook are so involved with #IPAsocialworks which has come a long way in dispelling some of the myths around (spurious) metrics - promoting instead case studies that demonstrate business outcome related social measurement.

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