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Why Wall Street loves Facebook again

Published: August 5, 2013

Author: Dan Slagen

Amidst Facebook’s earnings call last week, Facebook shares jumped 20% and the stock is currently (as of 8/2/13 at 11:07 AM ET) priced at $38.04.
Remember when people were ready to dismiss Facebook like it was one of the biggest flops of all time?
Well, what happened?
1) Performance: Facebook is no longer social marketing; it’s performance marketing. With Advertisers such as Fab seeing customer lifetime values of more than 2x compared to other channels, Facebook is a consistent source of reoccurring revenue for advertisers. What’s the best way to think about Facebook now? Like the mall.
2) Mobile: Mobile advertising on Facebook now accounts for over 40% of revenues.  We all see where mobile ad spend is going over the next few years:

ad spend digital
Credit: emarketer.com

and while Facebook isn’t the #1 player as far as U.S. revenues,
mobile ad revenue
Image credit: emarketer.com

eMarketer predicts revenue share numbers that will certainly rival Google, creating an even more exciting playing field for marketers.
mobile revenue share
Image credit: emarketer.com

As a marketer, focusing on mobile means targeting, creative, post-click user experience and cross-device/platform consistency.
3) Time: Facebook recently updated their offering for advertisers; rough release dates were as follows:
JanuaryAdvertisers truly start to focus on custom audiences
MayFacebook shifts to performance marketing
JuneFacebook streamlines ad units (huge mobile opportunity finally realized)
With any new channel, ad unit, targeting capability, or opportunity, it takes time for the general marketing to adjust; growth takes time. If you think about market adoption specific to technology, the chasm looks as follows (Crossing the Chasm, Geoffrey Moore):
– Innovators (2.5%)
– Early Adopters (13.5%)
– Early Majority (34%)
– Late Majority (34%)
– Laggards (16%)
On the earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg stated that ads on the News Feed only account for one out of 20 stories on a given Feed. That’s a low saturation rate considering the revenues that are currently being realized, so as we think about probably being towards the latter half of the “early majority” and quickly moving to the “late majority,” there’s plenty of time for additional growth.
Can Facebook still fail? Of course it can, but from what we’ve seen in the past 12 months, it’s a resilient and talented bunch. As a marketer, if you’re not already executing on Q3 while planning your holiday push in Q4 on Facebook… then it’s time to start now!

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