ADFUTURES is, by its very nature, ambitious; an opportunity to learn about the future of advertising from those creating it and, therefore, grow your business armed with industry-leading knowledge and advice straight from the top.

If 2019’s inaugural ADFUTURES events were ambitious because of their uniqueness, FacebookXADFUTURES 2020 was so because it brought the series to London. And with not a seat left in the house - sofas included - clearly the capital has an appetite for breakfast.

Before you read on, don’t forget that the ADFUTURES20 series isn’t over. We’re off to Microsoft London on 29th of April for a closer look at what’s coming on Bing and why advertisers shouldn’t ignore it in favour of advertising on Google. Get your tickets today...

The State of Facebook

Dan Fallon, SearchStar

You can download Dan's presentation here...

Welcoming the room, SearchStar’s Dan Fallon got ADFUTURES20 going with a glimpse of the current State of Facebook. And he started with an important point; in 2020 campaign efficiency is expected. Instead, advertisers need to be smarter, more strategic and deliver better creative - and that’s what Facebook now enables us to do.

But advertising on Facebook hasn’t always been as slick and effective as it is now. Back in 2012, Dan reminded us, Facebook wasn’t capable of driving sales in the same way it now does. Fast-forward to 2020 and it’s expected that social media as a whole will bring down nearly 30% of all digital ad spend.

How has it done this? Put simply, it’s the result of a far better ad ecosystem and the proper leveraging of the massive data collected by the platform to offer genuinely incredible targeting options. In Dan’s words, “the ads in our feeds are super personal to us.”

Dan finished by highlighting 5 themes of Facebook’s future:

1) eCommerce: Facebook is no longer about likes. As a platform it now puts a focus on the whole funnel, from introducing a brand or product, to driving store visits, traffic and sales via conversion targeted campaigns. You can read more about eCommerce success on Facebook here...

2) Attribution: While none of us are yet 100% comfortable with Facebook Attribution, it’s becoming an essential tool in properly understanding success on the platform. Google Analytics should no longer be the sole source of analytics data.

3) Video: Facebook used to be mobile-first. But that objective has been achieved - it’s now a video-first platform and the prevalence of video on the platform is only going to grow in importance over the next year and beyond.

4) AR & VR: AR and VR advertising is being worked on and it’s coming sooner rather than later. Facebook glasses are in the pipeline and you can expect the platform to be at the forefront of AR and VR developments.

5) Privacy & Regulation: Dan’s final word was around privacy and regulation - while “several hundred billion dollars above our paygrade” it’ll be interesting to see how this plays out and impacts Facebook in the coming years.

Future of Commerce

Lars Kossmann, Facebook

N.b - we’re unable to share the Facebook presentation from the day. If you have any questions about the below, please do get in touch...

Continuing in a similar vein, Lars drew a clear parallel between Facebook and the nature of commerce; connection. Commerce has always been about human connections, and so has Facebook by building communities between friends, families and businesses. Commerce is a natural product of this thriving environment.

And in the last 15 years we’ve seen commerce flourish on Facebook. Groups led to Marketplace, Instagram Shopping launched and live-selling is currently being tested in Asia.

But Lars was also quick to highlight that the way people discover products has changed. You can no longer wait for people to shop and search for you. Instead, shopping is an always-on activity and there are more opportunities than ever to reach your customers.

As a result, Facebook invests heavily in commerce through its platforms in an effort to make shopping more curated, convenient, secure and accessible to all. And this is playing out with diverse and impactful ad products, on-platform checkout and security that is being continuously refined and improved.

It was at this point that Lars brought Facebook’s exciting plans for AR and VR to the fore. This is where Facebook sees the future of “deep connections with consumers” on its platforms; seamlessly tying the journey between reality, AR and VR together.

This is where Spark AR comes in. This free and hugely accessible tool will help advertisers leverage AR and capitalise on the massive predicted growth we’ll see in technology by 2022 ($166 million to $2bn spent on direct, paid AR buys).

But how will AR ads work? Imagine seeing what a shade of lipstick will look like on you before you buy, or whether that £200 pair of sunglasses will suit you without having to go into a shop to try them out. How about how a piece of furniture or plant will look in your living room. The possibilities for AR advertising are incredibly extensive.

Facebook Case Studies

The SearchStar Team

You can download the case studies here...

Rounding off the morning, members of the SearchStar paid social team took to the stage to talk through three Facebook case studies. Each case study demonstrated how we’ve used Facebook to drive sales and/or bookings for our clients, using impactful creative, smarter audience targeting, more accurate attribution and the latest automation technology.

You can download the case studies here, and if you have any questions about the results we’ve seen, the Facebook ad products we’ve used or smarter targeting implemented, just let us know by sending us an email...