For a well-known company such as Procter & Gamble, the world's biggest ad spender, going for Facebook's targeted ads just might not be the most effective advertising strategy.
P&G will veer away from niche marketing on the social media platform after realizing it "went too narrow" but didn't prove as effective as the company had hoped.
"Now we're looking at: What is the best way to get the most reach but also the right precision?" Marc Pritchard, chief marketing officer of P&G, tells the Wall Street Journal.
Bigger Brands, Broader Reach
The biggest selling point of Facebook marketing is, of course, the company's ability to drill down into unique user demographics and psychographics, and serve advertisers the exact commodity audience it is looking for, whether the subjects be working moms on the East Coast, animé enthusiasts in Brazil or chocolate lovers in Osaka. Cornering a niche market might work for a local brand targeting a specific community.
But, for a well-established name like P&G, the right strategy might still be in casting the net far and wide and going for more traditional advertising platforms such as television.
"The bigger your brand," says Brian Weiser, an analyst for Pivotal Research, "the more you need broad reach and less targeted media."
To be clear, P&G will not altogether slash its budget for Facebook ads in general, but it will make use of targeting only where it seems logical to, the WSJ reports. The company recognizes that its recent ad strategy just "targeted too much" of the niche markets, but connecting with audiences on digital platforms will remain an integral part of the company's marketing plans.
Back To TV Commercials
P&G also aims to boost its advertising budget by 5 percent, after shelling out about $7.2 billion last year, but beginning in late 2015, it has reportedly redirected much of its budget to TV commercials.
One Facebook spokeswoman points out that the social media platform enjoys growth from its partnership with P&G each year and that "the cornerstone of [Facebook's] ad strategy is a mix of mass reach and personalized targeting."
This unique approach, Facebook believes, provides a "strong complement to TV" in a mobile-first age.
Facebook Bypasses Ad Blockers
The social media site is also constantly looking for ways to deliver ad content to its massive base of 1.7 billion users. Just this week, for instance, the company tweaked its technology to bypass ad blockers on desktop.
Even as P&G pulls back on targeting, Facebook's revenue from advertising as a whole continues to grow significantly, increasing by almost 50 percent, to pull in more than $17 billion last year.
With a user base of more than one billion and counting, all other advertisers may be scrambling to get a slice of that market.