I saw something yesterday that made me laugh out loud. Unfortunately, it was something that was shown to me as part of a media proposal. It involved a social media campaign and the agency that had created the plan (which I was reviewing for another consultant) was going to use Facebook. Based on the client and their objectives, this was probably not the best place for the media placement but let’s put that aside.
What made me laugh was the projection of the number of impressions both paid and earned that the campaign would generate. It came out to such a ridiculously high number (as in reaching every person on Facebook hundreds of times each) that it called into question everything in the rest of the presentation as well as the agency’s overall competence.
As I thought about it, I became a little scared and then a lot offended. It bothered me that an agency who has a pretty good list of clients had moved into social media and was treating it the same as broadcast media. They should know a lot better. It made me scared because this is the sort of irresponsible behavior we find all too often in digital. People become digital or social media experts or SEOs overnight and sell an inferior grade of services to clients who will get lousy results. How can they invest in this form of marketing going forward when the results weren’t there?
The point is this – whether it’s media plans or budgets or a report on manufacturing, we need to ask simple, logical questions. Why are we using Facebook when our objective is more geared to the broader web and restrictions in Facebook’s policies will prevent us from activating properly? Do the numbers they’re projecting make sense (and if we’re really going to reach the audience 300+ times each, maybe we’ve gone too far)?
There were a bunch of other issues in the deck and aside from the numbers my general response was “these guys just don’t get it.” None of us should be offering off the shelf, cookie-cutter solutions to problems that get more complex every day. The nature of media is changing – the nature of media planning need to change as well, along with the messages. You’ve experienced it in your own media behavior – why are you thinking everyone else has remained the same?
You with me?