May 2, 2018

Customer Acquisition Testing Beyond Facebook

We have been a bit lazy.
We rely far too much on Facebook and we know it. We test new product concepts, we test ways to market existing products, and Facebook, frankly, is great for both of these activities. Facebook lets us create multiple side-by-side campaigns and test them with discrete audiences. We get actionable data on where to find product-market fit. And it's cheap.
Yep, from an advertiser’s point of view, Facebook is hard to beat. And while we believe Facebook is here to stay, recent events do beg the question of alternatives to Facebook, if only for a hedge.
We don’t believe there’s a good replacement for Facebook—yet. But depending on your product or service, there are some alternatives bubbling up that are worth a look. We intend to get out of our hammocks and give them a try.

Cookie Monsters

In the face of Facebook and Google’s massive share of digital advertising spend, three smaller tech companies are teaming up to create a ‘common cookie’ that allows brands to track users and target ads across websites and platforms. Together, they’re hoping to fell Goliath and create a very large cookie jar along the way.

One-Night Brand

How do marketers get the word out without paying the Facebook toll? Many use that age-old tactic—public relations. PR is not without challenges, and major complaints usually include cost, speed, and effectiveness. New startup Spry is taking a page from the gig economy to address the first and second items with a mobile app that pairs carefully screened freelance journalists and PR professionals with marketers. The marketer sends the request, the freelancer fills it, and they never work together again. No strings attached, and the vetting is probably better than Tinder.

Read, Click, Buy

Online publishers have long wrestled with issues—some of them ethical—around how to offer links to products they write about. A new startup, Narrativ, has solved many of the technical issues by offering a system of dynamic links that can be embedded in text. Narrativ's "smartlinks" contain information on pricing and inventory by retailer, so that publishers send readers only to retailers with product in stock. Can this become an important new business model for publishers? We're watching carefully.

Empire Falls?

If you are ready to disown Zuckerberg’s unruly brainchild, here’s a handy list of alternatives to the news feed, messenger, event planning and private groups. If that list just reminds you how useful Facebook really is, then you’re not alone. But some indications point towards the end of what has seemed endless: the expansion of Facebook, Google, and YouTube. It’s too early to tell what this New Internet Order might bring, but with any luck it won’t involve 4,000 notifications every year on your birthday. 

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