Bigger (and Bigger) Brother

big_brother We TCTers are aware that, having long since replaced price competition as the main vehicle of business competition, the practice of behavioral engineering known as “marketing” grows larger, more sophisticated, and more expensive over time, with almost no pauses. In the TCT book, I called this process “the marketing race.” In this post, we review some of the latest evidence of its existence.

First, Ad Age reports the results of its survey of marketing practitioners regarding their firms’ usage of the newest marketing frontier, the internet. The results are as predictable as the rotation of Earth:

Last June, in the weeks following Facebook’s botched IPO, Ad Age and CITI surveyed marketers about their views on the social network. The big takeaway? While the majority (85%) felt they needed to be on Facebook, only about half felt they needed to be advertising there.

Fast-forward to January 2013: We asked a new crop of 701 marketers and media execs their views. You’d expect sentiment to have risen a little, and it has: More marketers on Facebook say they’re also advertising — 61%, compared with 55% seven months earlier. We also found a slightly higher percentage that said their Facebook ad budget would “modestly” or “significantly” increase, 58%, compared with 56% in our earlier survey.

As you might expect, Facebook’s mobile ads are on the minds of marketers: 69% now say mobile advertising on Facebook is “somewhat” or “very” important compared with 63% seven months ago.

79 percent of those marketers who’ve used them report being satisfied with their ROI from deployment of Facebook’s newest product, “Sponsored Stories.” To see how those work, take a gander at these eager beavers rhapsodizing them:

In a one-time concession for this maneuver, Facebook just settled a class-action lawsuit against it, btw. The financial cost? 0.4% of its 2012 revenue.

Finally, Google reads your Gmails in order to scrape marketing data, and there’s nothing you can do about it, other than dropping Gmail (on the very questionable assumption other “hosts” aren’t or won’t soon be doing exactly the same thing).

Market totalitarianism — it only grows…

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