Facebook has lost a cool $60B in value since its IPO in May, and during that time, the talk about the effectiveness of Facebook advertising has done nothing but heat up.
Research shows that the average click-through rate on Facebook ads is 10 times lower than the average click-through rate on Google. Advertisers are not convinced that Facebook ads work; and some of them are putting their money where their mouth is - the highest profile of these was GM, who stopped advertising on Facebook after determining its paid ads had little impact on consumers.
This poses a real dilemma for companies and their marketing departments who have worked hard, spent countless hours and thousands of dollars to rack up these hundreds, thousands and even millions of Facebook "likes."
Because really, what can be done with 1 million "likes"? ‘Push' information to those fans, get them to play games and try to get them to download apps - not a whole heck of a lot more.
As long as the customer remains in the social media system (e.g. Facebook), a company is very restricted with regards to how it can market to them.
So in order to monetize those fans, the company needs to move or convert the fans from a social media system to their own marketing and sales systems. This allows the company greater opportunity to market to them, and frees them from restrictions on the social media sites.
And how can you, in the IT department, help your colleagues in Marketing convert these fans?
Marketing knows that as they attempt to convert fans from third party social media sites to their own site, they cannot force them to login multiple times, or fill out several forms with the same information. By proposing the right Single-Sign-On (SSO) solution, your company can allow your consumers to use one of their existing online identities (like their login details to Twitter or Gmail) to log on to your website. For the customer this is tremendously convenient and doesn't compromise security. Working together, IT and Marketing can achieve a seamless user experience that eliminates dropout rates and improves conversion rates.
This partnering between IT and Marketing is crucial. Marketing departments currently control the budget for over a third of marketing technology, often spending that money without the blessing of IT. Why? Because according to analysts, Marketing can sometimes view IT is an "expense," or it "moves slowly," and "says no."
As a result, you run the risk that your Marketing department can and may implement rogue technology that could jeopardize your organization's compliance with data privacy laws and other regulations. As the IT department, you can proactively propose a SSO solution that can avoid these problems.
Regulations are broad and varied. They include data privacy laws, PCI, ISO 27002, and Sarbanes Oxley. You need to shield your staff from the need to understand the technical details of these open standards, while still enabling them to implement complex open standards for allowing the use of social media identity providers and maintaining compatibility. Companies should seek an SSO solution that can do all this, and also can be obtained on-premise or as-a-Service via the Cloud, allowing your business "choice" in the matter - for example, to decide if they want to pay upfront or as you go.
CA Technologies offers a market-leading solution with secure single sign-on and federation in one seamless, centrally managed environment. A leading automotive manufacturer (out of Europe) has selected us to replace its home-grown system to capture B2C customers out of social media and into their own systems. And our security solutions can also address other security issues like advanced authentication and controlling privileged users. I encourage all of you out there, in IT, to talk with your colleagues in Marketing and understand how you can work together to reduce the friction of customer transactions. This is the kind of value that the business wants from IT.