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Goafest 2015: Over-advertising can kill the Golden Goose: Neil Stewart

13-April-2015
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Goafest 2015: Over-advertising can kill the Golden Goose: Neil Stewart

The second day of Goafest 2015 featured a number of interesting knowledge sessions sponsored by Surewaves. Neil Stewart, Head of Agency (APAC) of Facebook, spoke about the way brands could leverage Facebook to create precise campaigns without compromising on reach. He also addressed some of the concerns that marketers and agencies have had on organic reach and paid advertisements on the platform.

The first thing that Stewart spoke about was the need for Facebook to launch a separate messenger app for mobile. He said that though a lot of people might feel that it was not required, marketers needed to think about it in terms of the various opportunities it provides them. Features like micropayment, etc. would not have been possible without a standalone app, he said.

He also mentioned how advertising on platforms like Instagram would soon be introduced in India. “It is easy to forget that there is a much larger suite of products that lies behind the Facebook brand,” he said.

Talking about the ‘elephant in the room’, Stewart admitted that ‘likes’ were no longer a currency that Facebook felt is a way forward. On the question of what replaces it, Stewart was clear that the currency of the future would be about effectively building brand awareness, driving in-store sales, increasing online sales and driving app installs. He also asked agencies to not put up with non-specific audiences.

According to him, one of the major issues facing the marketing world today was the danger that advertisers and agencies are liable to kill the “Golden Goose” by overdoing advertising. Giving the example of Indonesia (where a commercial break is as long as 20 minutes for prime properties), he mentioned that there was a real danger that digital advertising could face the same issue that TV has been seeing.

“My bugbear is lazy retargeting. If we don’t do frequency capping or understand whether we are annoying customers, we are going to drive them away from us like TV viewers were driven away to pirated DVD sellers,” he opined.

He also admitted that there was a lack of good creatives by agencies on Facebook since agencies tend not to build creative for specific mediums, something that, according to him, would have a much higher impact on the audience. “Don’t try and cram everything into one ad,” he told the audience.

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