April 10, 2012

iTwin’s Facebook Marketing: Tell Me Who You Are Before Asking Me To Like You

by Freddy J. Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC + Guy Who Actually Reads the Ads

I confess: I clicked an ad on Facebook today. Really. Now, you know that Facebook ad clickthrough rates are so dismal (about 1 out of every 2000 views), that even Facebook execs are talking more about “branding” and “awareness.” But I couldn’t help myself. I love me some gadgets and marketing, and this ad for the iTwin featured both…

Facebook ad for iTwin

Mmmm: toys… marketing toys… so I clicked, and this is what I got…

iTwin Facebook Page

Uh, iTwin, didn’t we just meet? Shouldn’t you at least flirt with me first before asking me to like you? I see from your ad that 15,686 people have already liked you, but what can I say, I play hard to get. And at the least, shouldn’t you have used this page to show me how your product works, as your ad promised?

But Wait, There’s More…

Were it any other product or company, I might have just bailed at this point, but I sensed a teachable case study here, so I went exploring. I Googled the iTwin website, which was much more informative. Apparently, the $99 device enables a user to remotely connect any two computers. Cool — but I’m not sure how I’d use it, nor do I see how that relates to public relations. It’s apparently selling well — the green one featured in the ads is already sold out — unless that’s just a marketing ploy to make the item look popular. (Hint to startups: your first batch of anything should always “sell out.”)

And that was the extent of my shopping trip.

Now, some marketers would call everything I did some hardcore “engagement”: I interacted with the brand at multiple touchpoints. I’ve also provided all this free publicity and an SEO-enhancing backlink. But I just can’t help but think: this relationship could have been so much more, no?

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

2 Responses

  1. Hi Freddy,

    Thanks so much for your valuable feedback. As a small tech company (with an even smaller marketing team), I agree and admit that we goofed on this one. As with many other firms we are also challenged with managing our brand across multiple channels with limited resources… so I expect we’ll goof again ;-) But our goal is to learn from these mistakes quickly to create a better dialogue with our both our current and prospective customers.

    Many thanks again for your insights!

    Brian Chamberlain
    VP Marketing & Sales
    iTwin
    brian@itwin.com

    P.S. the ‘sold out’ greens was not a marketing ploy- we indeed sold out that color (temporarily)

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