I estimate, that of the number of people who are Page Admins for a business on Facebook – less than 20% have ever even tried running Facebook Ads (I can’t tell you how I know this, trade secret – sorry!)

Of the ones who are running ads, the vast majority are TERRIBLE.

Of course, the people running the ads don’t think they’re terrible. At least I don’t think they do, or they wouldn’t keep doing it the same way. So I can only assume that because they never had exposure to different campaigns, in different companies, that they don’t know what sort of performance metrics they should be aiming for.

For an ad to be truly effective, it needs to tick all of the boxes. You can have a brilliant Creative, but a poor Ad Set and your promotion won’t go very far. Equally, you can have a brilliant Ad Set and a naff Creative and not really get anywhere. And even if both of them are brilliant – if the Ad doesn’t have an objective that can convert the audience reached into cash sales then by and large, you might as well pee your cash up an alleyway watching England trying to win the World Cup!

In a world full of House of Frasers…

…Be a Missguided!

Now, I can only hope that House of Fraser didn’t actually want or expect these ads to achieve any sales……

……Who am I kidding. Of course they do, they’re a struggling retailer in the midst of multiple store closures to stay afloat.

So why the hell are they not embracing, investing and monopolising the social opportunity that the likes of ASOS and Missguided have built their empire upon?

House of Fraser Facebook Ads

Let’s put a House of Fraser and a Missguided promotion side by side. Just look a them!

Missguided are relevant, colourful, inventive. Their Creative shows they truly understand their customer profile and they are strategically building their promotions with content that they know will flick that inner switch of their target audience to want to look Smokin’ Hot like Megan or Zara.

They *know* that their audience is sitting at home wishing they looked like that.


House of Fraser on the other hand, resorts to heavy discounting rather than aspirational or emotional selling. Their ad screams “We don’t know what else to come up with, other than making it cheap!” It is dull and lacks any kind of imagination. They are disconnected from their audience.

What should House of Fraser be doing differently?

If I could give the HoF marketing teams some advice, it would be to step out into the digital world and take a look at the ads your competitors are running. There are tiny, slick, relevant little fashion e-tailers emerging who are exploiting the mega-cheap reach of Facebook and absolutely killing it while the big slow retail giants stand scratching their heads wondering why their profits are going down quicker than Adam’s pants on Love Island.

If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’ll keep getting what you always get.

Don’t be complacent. Don’t be arrogant and think that Facebook is ineffective, just because you don’t understand it. Don’t think that you are too good, too high profile, or too big to achieve anything from a well-oiled digital campaign.

And don’t leave your digital marketing to the most junior person in you team, because you think it’s that ‘fluffy’ thing that is easy and anybody can do….

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