retail news in context, analysis with attitude

MNB took note last week of a Forrester analysis of how marketers and e-business executives evaluate digital marketing opportunities, concluding that these executives believe that Facebook "creates less business value than any other digital marketing opportunity." This despite the fact that last year alone, Facebook generated ad revenues in excess of $4 billion.

In an open letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, Nate Elliott, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester, wrote that he believes that Facebook "focuses too little on the thing marketers want most: driving genuine engagement between companies and their customers," and "isn’t good enough at the pure advertising business onto which you’ve shifted your focus."

Well, VentureBeat.com is out with an analysis of the analysis … and it is scathing. An excerpt:

"All data is stupid data if it’s the wrong data … In putting this report together, Forrester looked at the wrong data — the cardinal error when generating conclusions since they’re almost guaranteed to be wrong if you don’t properly understand what you’re analyzing.

"Forrester’s report is anecdotal, generated by going to 'executives' and asking them what they think. That may very well prove that Facebook has a C-suite image problem — and that very well be a valid issue — but it says very little at all about the success or failure of advertising on Facebook. In a court of law, it might be classified as 'hearsay.'

"That’s something that native digital advertisers know in their DNA."

You can read the whole critique here.
KC's View:
What's really interesting to me, beyond the analysis of the analysis, are the comments posted on the message board below the story, in which the opinion seems divided. I'm not sure what to make of it … except that it does not seem like a stretch to suggest that sometimes c-level execs don't understand marketing expenses in a granular way. Sometimes things are what they are, but not always.