March 14th, 2017

The Reason Why Brands SHOULDN’T Focus All of Their Paid Efforts on Google and Facebook

Jeff Allen | President at Hanapin Marketing | @JeffAllenUT

There’s a lot of digital dollars being spent on Google and Facebook. eMarketer released a new report today forecasting that US digital ad spending will reach $83 billion in 2017. Google will account for 40.7% of digital ad revenues, with Facebook coming in at under half of that.

Per the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), both will continue to increase at greater than 20% YoY –  at least for Google and Facebook. The platforms together captured an astonishing 99% of the growth in ad revenue when comparing Q3 of 2015 to Q3 of 2016, per Jason Kint of Digital Content Next.



For brand advertisers, it’s easy to think that “if so much money is spent with just two platforms, why shouldn’t we focus 100% of our efforts on Google and Facebook?”

Just focusing on Facebook and Google will certainly eliminate a lot of complexity and significantly reduce costs. It’s a good case to be made and one I’m sure many advertisers have considered. However, just because you’re spending on Google and Facebook, doesn’t mean you’re hitting your ROI goals.

If other platforms aren’t capturing growing ad spend, they may cut discounts, or if they are auction-based, they should have lower CPC’s. Advertising platforms all follow the same ark. They get a lot of users, struggle to find a way to monetize those users through non-advertising methods, and then add a select group of partners who can buy on their site, creating a self-service model.

Eventually, inventory or price will cause advertisers to flee Google and Facebook. It probably will not happen for years, but if you wait until everyone else starts escaping, you will pay more to learn how to win in the new platforms. Why? CPC’s will be higher with the influx of competition and you won’t know which platforms to test first, so you’ll likely have to invest in a broad range until you find some that stick. That lengthens your timeline to get back to acceptable ROAS goals, all while paying a higher cost for the learning.

So my main point is, don’t wait. Embrace the complexity of being on new and different platforms. If you truly want to win and be successful with paid search, you must keep expanding, keep testing, and keep searching (see what I did there?!) for new audiences.

I wrote a whitepaper on the PPC Trends Every CMO Needs to Know, including why Voice Search matters now (even without ad formats) and how you can make sure your brand doesn’t end up with ads on less than ideal online sites that will make your consumers angry.