With all the hoopla surrounding Facebook's scheduled May 18th IPO, you might have missed the release of the company's roadshow presentation.
Roadshow presentations provide the investing public with a revealing first look inside a soon-to-be public company. Status quo condemns these roadshows to be rather boring, presenting complex financial models that many marketers might typically gloss over, but Facebook's was a bit different.
Consistent with their brand image of authentic and engaging communications, Facebook's roadshow presentation featured graphs that are easily understood and aesthetically appealing. They allowed the thirty-minute video to be accessible to investors as well as marketers, whose industry is still precarious as to the effectiveness of the new medium.
In fact, the presentation was more of a coming-out party for the world's most intimately used brand.
Until now, Mark Zuckerberg and the rest of his team had neither spoken directly to their users nor articulated their ideas about what Facebook means to them.
Through the process of explaining Facebook's profitability to investors, Zuckerberg and friends had to demonstrate the platform's unique value proposition as a superior advertising vehicle; a move that may also reassure marketers of Facebook's relevance and value.
Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg presented the brand's unique value proposition to advertisers as having four elements:
Facebook has 900+ Million Monthly Active Users (MAU).
Every day on Facebook, the volume of users is about 65 million people, more than twice the number of viewers who watched the season finale of American Idol (29 million).
Targeted Facebook ads have a 90 to 95% accuracy rate, as opposed to the industry average of 35%
Likes and comments number 3.2 billion per day.
4) Social Context
A Nielsen survey found a 50% increase in ad recall when used in a social context (i.e. friends sharing a brand's promotion). This means that Facebook has quantified the word-of-mouth phenomenon for the first time.
Case studies and testimonials were featured in the video to exemplify Facebook's effectiveness. For instance, CM Photographics, a small photography company out of Minneapolis decided to advertise on Facebook to launch its business. It invested about $1,500 dollars in Facebook ads which returned:
45% of total ad clicks as qualified leads
$70,000 in revenue during their first year in business
"We have been able to measure the impact of our Facebook page by putting it into a marketing mix analysis [by Nielsen]; for every $1 we spent on Facebook, it returned $3 on incremental sales." - Katie O'Brien, Global Marketing Manager, Ben & Jerry's Ice Cream
"Facebook continues to be the heart of our community. It is not an optional piece of the equation; it is the essential piece of the equation. The possibilities that we can imagine at this point are infinite." - Susan Sobbot, President, American Express OPEN
As a whole, Facebook's roadshow presentation proved to be a big step toward personifying the social networking giant and giving marketers some quality analytics to hold on to, and helping them justify the use of Facebook as a legitimate marketing platform. Naturally, much of this presentation is very forward thinking and only time will tell how effectively the public infusion of cash will be at implementing this vision.