December 11, 2008

A Cognizant Failure (Marketing via Facebook)

Filed under: Marketing Tactics, Projects — Robert John Ed @ 3:09 am

I write this in lieu of actually studying managerial finance, which excites me to no start.

Recently, I started a grassroots marketing campaign for the MA Fund (you’ll notice you can now donate via Paypal online) in order to attempt to garner seed money for our initial loan.  As with many non profits, our budget was essentially nonexistent in terms of monetary assets.  Human resources were the big resource.  Still are.  Time was not.

In terms of marketing, I generally live by a few themes.  I believe in building communities.  There are multiple names for these kinds of communities, but they are essentially groups of people who share common beliefs or yearn for similar outcomes.  Building a community around microfinance (micro-lending) locally is the best thing that our organization can do.   Finding the people who have passion about the subject and building communication lines and events where they can get involved is by far superior to any type of paid advertising (interruptions) you can do.

This is why flyers are a waste of time.  Success rates for flyers have to be less than 1% or so.  Success rates for spammers (email) are the same.  But because of that miniscule ROI, they keep on.  They squeeze whatever little credibility they have to get every last nickel.  Sad.

So I’m opposed to spam.  Spam is random interruption based advertisement/messages that go to the wrong crowd with the wrong message.  It’s just a waste.  Waste of dollars (I don’t care how cheap it is), waste of time (which is ever more expensive), waste of credibility (you can only put your name behind so many BS messages before people stop listening) and most importantly a waste of the opportunity to make something better.   Spamming does nothing to build a community.  And a community is the answer.  A hundred people who care are worth exponentially more than a million who don’t.

Regardless, part of the small marketing initiative proposed was to make a Facebook group/page.  Now, I’m active on this site and understand what marketers have tried to do over the last few years of it hitting critical mass.  It hasn’t worked.  Facebook has extremely low CTR’s and it seems pretty obvious that they haven’t made the site a commercially viable place to advertise as of yet.  Yet anyone with a small business or cause attempts to leverage it.  And now I’ve jumped in head first to a 3 foot pool.  We have a group page (requires sign in). Yet what does this really do for the members?  The only thing it is right now is an integrated campaign piece.  And being that our goal is to raise funds, that doesn’t mean a lot.  It raises awareness slightly, but most of the people there already knew.  So what are they getting?  Not a lot.  Therein lies the problem with building fan pages, it’s trying to build community but it fails because there isn’t anything to offer afterward.  What’s the answer?  Whatever it is, I don’t have it, which is completely my fault.  So I’m still trying to figure out how to leverage social networking sites, just like every other marketer.

Meanwhile, there is plenty of time to build something that actually adds value.  The clock is ticking.  This is how we as marketers must reflect on what we do.  There is a huge opportunity cost to making a fan page and then never updating it or offering something of tangible value.



  1. Bob, I tried to donate via paypal and the paypal link on the MA site is not working properly. You may want to look into that.

    Comment by Taj Bolton — December 12, 2008 @ 4:43 pm

  2. Taj, thanks for the update. I found this out yesterday as well, so I’ll be getting it fixed soon!

    I appreciate your help Tajai, stay up homey.

    Comment by Robert John Ed — December 12, 2008 @ 4:45 pm

  3. Okay, it worked in FireFox (stupid IE, not sure why I still use it sometimes). Donation sent. Happy holidays!

    Comment by Taj Bolton — December 12, 2008 @ 4:46 pm

  4. i wl join cognizant copany after completing my bsc(information technology)

    Comment by same johans — July 21, 2012 @ 9:02 am

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