Let’s use Facebook to shoot fish in a barrel. Instead of trying to get Other Guys to hit a TACT that requires them to leave their app ‘n iGizmo, get dressed, and go out in the Local called reality, let’s hit the WATtapping TACT. While sitting in their preferred Digirati attire with their favorite app ‘n iGizmo, let’s run a Facebook persuasion campaign that only requires WATtapping for everything including your product or service. Everything about this persuasion is only digital.
Consider this convenient case.
An online marketer discloses how he counted the change with only a $20 ad campaign with Facebook. While he calls this an experiment, it is not. There’s no treatment group that gets Something and a control group that gets Something Else or even Nothing. He runs the same ad for everyone then observes what happens. If anything positive happens, you can call the intervention some kind of success, but compared to anything else, who knows? But, to his everlasting credit, he does offer details of his study and I think he’s telling the truth.
He begins with a population of Other Guys who are already his Facebook fans. They follow his work through Facebook. Already. As Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook CEO, might put it, they are Leaning In. For this intervention he wants his fans to hit the TACT called “enrolling in my 7-Day Free MLM Boot Camp.” This boot camp is apparently an online text description of how to be more successful at marketing. He creates an ad for this TACT through the Facebook Sponsored Ads program and the ad goes out to his existing fans (approximately 7700) and their friends (about another 17,000 people). Here’s what he gets.
He gets 19 new leads and converts 4 to hit the TACT. And remember, to hit the TACT all the Other Guys have to do is WATtap a couple of times and they are enrolled in the Free 7-Day Boot Camp which they can then WATtap through at their leisure. They don’t have to get dressed and leave the house or even put down their iGizmo. They don’t even have to pay for anything whether with PayPal or BitCoin or a credit card number. Just point and click, WATtap. And these guys were Leaning In.
This marketer then repeats his experiment several times with pretty much the same results. A handful of Other Guys (existing fans) who got a persuasive message to hit a WATtap TACT actually exert enough energy to click a mouse button a few times. He asserts that he does make money from this activity through affiliate sales which means he takes the new contact information he garnered and sells that to someone else who then bombards the hapless new Other Guy with emails for products and services that have nothing to do with the Free 7-Day Boot Camp. The marketer does not detail how much money this generates, but confidently asserts that he will recoup his advertising cost within a few weeks. Past recouping the advertising cost, the online marketer is silent.
As I noted earlier, I believe this guy largely because the results are so bad that anyone who would fess up to this has got to be honest.
Consider the Local.
Start with Other Guys who already know you and “like” you.
Hit them and their friends (hey, friends with benefits, right) with a simple message making a free offer.
All anyone ever has to do is click on a link. That’s all the energy behavior of this TACT requires.
For twenty bucks you get four or five new contacts you can then monetize through the work of somebody else. Maybe. Hopefully. Probably.
That’s Facebook persuasion for you. For 20 dollars you can hit nearly 25,000 Other Guys (your fans and their friends) who are already leaning in your direction and get 4 or 5 clicks with a new email address. And, if all goes according to plan, somebody else will someday send you some money that will cover your $20 persuasion budget.
Let’s enjoy this case study as persuasion panthers. You’ve convinced guys like this online marketer that Facebook persuasion works. He gives you $20 right now regardless of any outcome. You put that in your bank along with the thousands of other marketers like this guy. This guy comes back several times with these small budget persuasion experiments. You always cash his check before anything happens and regardless of what happens you get his money.
And, guess what? You get to watch the results of this guy’s experiment (and all those other marketing guys doing these small budget persuasion experiments) and you have even more data about it than you give him and the others. You get to learn about Facebook persuasion without having to pay anything for it. In fact, you get paid to observe this! Most importantly, you learn how to set the price point for small budget Facebook persuasion experiments so that you attract and keep these guys coming back for more. You run your own experiments with the kind of information you provide and what kind of Pretty Pictures you give and you automate this process so that every hour of every day you get a ticker tape feed.
Then you take the results from all these small budget persuasion experiments, combine them into types and segments and case studies and use that information to demonstrate the effectiveness of Facebook persuasion to other Sauds and Aleuts with larger budgets, showing them what works and doesn’t work.
Then the bigger fish put down larger budgets, doing pretty much what this one independent online marketer does but with Kate Upton or Jay-Z or a riff from a Rolling Stones or Beatles song and probably gets slightly better results than this experiment because the Big Boys at the Big Marketing Cool Table are a lot smarter than this online marketer.
That and Kate Upton.
Count the change, vampires. Count the change. Even in this small, homegrown example, a Facebook persuasion play should be shooting small fish in a small barrel, yet you can’t find a sardine in the can. Good grief, you couldn’t construct a better test of the persuasion power of Facebook than this beautifully simple, direct, and almost sincere application. And you get trivial changes that are coming in at break even costs. This online marketing guy is humping a lot of expense himself in this operation and is not including them in his calculations.
You see the persuasion with Facebook. It’s what they do to you to get the change they can count. And this only occurs because Facebook enjoys a jungle with few competitors. Right now, Google is still the lion with Facebook barely a hyena in the advertising hunt. And the existence of just these two killers is destroying the price structure for their advertising rates. A third killer would only further erode price and profits. Twitter, anyone?
Now we’re talking competition or else getting caught in price-fixing which Do No Evil Google will never do. Ad prices fall farther and maybe our online marketing guy and the dentist make a real penny of profit on a twenty dollar persuasion campaign.
Everyone keeps believing that apps ‘n iGizmos are a persuasion machine just like newspaper ads and radio ads and TV ads were and, while reduced, still are. iAds never count much change when you do a hard count on that change. I’m sure that Facebook has a couple of amazing slides on experimental persuasion campaigns they ran, but that’s taking the top of the distribution out of the meta-analysis. Add in all the Facebook experiments and give me that mean.
If you are buying persuasion, the last thing you can permit is for the Other Guy to run persuasion on you. Count the change.