The Real Problem with Facebook Advertising: Extreme Engagement
The core issue is the inverse correlation between immersiveness of an experience and receptiveness to marketing messages. This finding has been confirmed across all media types, including television, websites and print.
One of the most interesting studies on the topic was related to Super Bowl advertising. The researchers compared ad recall among three groups: those supporting the winning team; those supporting the losing team; and those who didn't have a favorite team. It turned out that ad recall was highest for those who were neutral and not emotionally involved in the game. It didn't matter if your team was winning or losing, the fact that you had a team meant you were focused on the game and not the ads. However, those who were less immersed in the game were willing to listen to your pitch.
Sure, you can fish where the fish are, but there are no guarantees they'll bite. So what's a marketer to do?
Steer clear of competitors for mind share
Marketers don't typically think of media placement as a form of competition. The rule of thumb had been the more engaging the site the better, when in fact the reverse is true. It's counterintuitive, but as the Super Bowl example illustrates, you want your audience involved, but not too involved.
Your audience can be focused on a particular task, so long as the task isn't all consuming. For example, if they're quickly checking on the weather or a sports score — these are in-and-out activities — you can be there as they check out. I've seen a lot of success with campaigns on these quick-reference sites in the past.
Thinking beyond targeting and messaging
So, there you are with your exquisitely crafted message and flawlessly calculated targeting, but are you taking into account what the consumer is doing, thinking and feeling at that moment?