There is little doubt that Facebook has changed the way we communicate, but has it changed the way consumers shop? Marketers have been asking themselves this question for some time now, and the answer is clear, yes. Not only yes, but yes in a big way.
There once was a time when television was king. Back in the day, there were only three television networks, and reaching out to consumers could be easily accomplished by advertising on any of them. Then along came cable, and everything became more complicated. Now marketers have to conduct studies to see which demographics are watching which channels, and attempt to target their audience with this information. This is not only complicated, but it costs money.
No complicated system need be employed to find out what people are “watching” online, as the answer is clear: Facebook. All genders, ages, ethnic groups, all social orientations, all located in one place. As if this were not already a dream come true, all of these people are telling Facebook about themselves, and what they like, on a daily basis.
They are also telling the world what they are buying. Telling another person about a commercial you just watched on television either in person, or on the phone takes time and effort. If they take the time to do it, chances are they shared the information only once. However, telling several people about an advertisement that you saw online takes only a few clicks of the mouse. It is pretty obvious what the majority of people will choose to do.
Another problem the television advertising experts are coming up against is the average amount of time that is spent watching television is losing ground to the average amount of time an individual spends on Facebook. Many Facebook user report spending literally hours a day on the site.
Television marketing will never die. However, adjustments will need to be made in order to keep it a highly viable choice for advertisement spending. Facebook ads are a hot choice, and advertisers who want to gain the largest ROI will be looking to Facebook more and more. It is quite possible that marketers will try to find a way to marry the two. This is already happening, as some of the commercials we currently watch as us to like them on Facebook.
So which is the better marketing choice? A a general rule, Facebook. However, there are segments that will still will only be exposed to television advertising. These being those that do not own a computer, and the elderly, who not only do not own one, but would not know how to use it if they did. But are these groups really who advertisers are targeting anyway?