1. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Marketing Plan: Double Insight aka The InstaPot™
Contemporary Marketing/ MBA-635
October 21, 2018
Professor Dr. Helena Swan
Touro University Worldwide
2. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Few products have seen the success of the InstaPot™ cooker from Double Insight. This
paper will discuss how the laid-off father of two founded the company and grew the company
without any money being spent on marketing through the use of social media and relationship
building and a zero-dollar marketing budget. Finding success through the innovative
relationships, social media frenzy, support of Amazon.com (who leads the sales in it), and a firm
marketing tactic of analyzing both the macroeconomic and microeconomic things their
customers want, they have emerged as one of the best selling items of all time (Amazon).
Keywords: Social Media Marketing, 4 P’s, ROI, CPC, Tips & Tools to
3. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Traditional advertising campaigns have taken a back seat to modern methods of
advertising, including those of social media marketing. Due to the advent of portals such as
YouTube™, Facebook, and others, the modern advertising campaign has taken to the net in an
attempt to cast a wider net (in terms of customers) while driving ROI for their dollars spent.
This paper will explore the tumultuous relationship between General Motors and Facebook
during the initial IPO of Facebook stock, as well as the steps Facebook has taken to ensure the
ROI for their customers and investors as it continues on its quest to be the place for the biggest
reach of customer conversion while driving sales revenues and profits for their shareholders.
Specific targeting tools, metric tools, costs per click (average), as well as other tools available to
advertisers to ensure their success in product marketing, as well as the challenges in general of
marketing on social media platforms, will be reviewed. All of these topics are inclusive of a
successful social media marketing campaign.
The GM & Facebook Relationship: The Breakup
General Motors pulled their $10M social media ad campaign in 2012, three days ahead of
the record-breaking IPO by Facebook, citing (a failure to have) control of its ads (Lafferty,
2013). The break up came prior to the dismissal (in June) of Chief Marketing Officer Joel
Ewanick, who was instrumental in the split between the car giant and Facebook (Lafferty, 2013).
For most businesses, the full retreat of a $10M account such as General Motors could
have caused catastrophic consequences for the IPO and stock price, however, Facebook took this
as a lesson in offerings and continued to increase the tools available to such advertisers while
growing their revenue in spite of the loss of $10M. Proving that innovation was the key to
customer retention and profits, Facebook had ad revenue of (in millions) $3154 in 2011, $4279
4. MARKETING PLAN: THE
in 2012 (following the IPO), $6896 in 2013, and $11492 in 2014, proving that advertisers with
smart branding and targeting tactics and tools can find success in their online platforms
(Facebook 2012 10K, 2013).
While some outlets are quick to point the finger of blame at Facebook for the failure to
provide the tools necessary to track conversion rates (on CPC basis), the internet platform was in
its infancy and has since made substantial strides to assist their advertisers in finding success.
During the time that GM was pulling the ads out of the platform, Google Analytics was virtually
the only tool available to track such results (Slagen, N.D.).
Facebook Responds: Targeted Tools for Success
Facebook is first and foremost a technology company. When their advertisers began
complaining (and even redeeming out) of the social media giant’s platform due to a lack of tools
to track conversion rates, Facebook responded by releasing a number of tools and even training
to help their advertisers reach their maximum potential.
The first release in a series of many tools by the tech giant, Facebook FBX™ was
released in 2012, shortly after the IPO (July 2012) with another addition, Custom Audiences™
being released in September of the same year (see AppendixB). Over the next few years, the tech
giant focused its efforts on maximizing the ROI for its advertisers while offering conversion rate
statistics and targeted segmentation tools to reach their intended/target audiences based on
interests. They have continued on this path of providing a value to their customers alongside the
tools needed to launch successful campaigns and provide a proper ROI to these customers as it
would their investors (if it were stock purchased rather than advertising) (Des, 2017). These
targeted tools were designed to help advertisers market their products to the appropriate audience
while keeping tabs on budget, costs, and conversion rates.
5. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Facebook Advertising Statistics and Metric Tools
Conversion rates are defined as the “percentage of users who take a desired action. The
archetypical example of conversion rate is the percentage of website visitors who buy something
on the site (or by clicking through an AD)” (Nielsen, 2013). These conversion rates are similar
to ROI (Return on Investment) for stockholders as advertisers strive to reach their target markets
and convert those click through views to sales.
Conversion rates are only as good as the targeted marketing segmentation that is offered.
By this, what is referenced is the marketing of products to your key demographic while finding
new customers based on a specific criteria (age, interests, gender, hobbies, income, location).
According to Forbes, Facebook has only the third highest conversion rates for customers (4.7%),
trailing behind both Google and Bing who possess only 8% conversion rates (respectfully)
(Priceconomics, 2018). These “giants” among top conversions for ad platforms still fall
surprisingly short given the trends in the market for specific internet or social media driven
advertisements or marketing platforms. These low percentages of an overall seemingly
successful campaign and share of market are surprising given that Facebook drives the most
traffic to websites (13.9%), Snapchat is not far behind (13%), while Twitter, YouTube, and Bing
had the lowest traffic driving statistics overall (Priceconomics, 2018). These conversion rates
are also driven (in part) by the size of the cart in question and research found that smaller carts
($1-$199) possessed conversion rates of 13.3% while their large counterparts only held 5.4%
conversion rates (Priceconomics, 2018). This is seemingly the result of people who are making
large purchases (or even making a significant percentage of overall purchases) either in person or
on sites such as Amazon who boast(ed) 45.5% of all e-commerce sales in 2017 (or $196.8B), up
6. MARKETING PLAN: THE
from 38.1% the year prior ($149.1B) (McMillen, 2017). The e-tailing giant is poised to take
49.1% of all internet spending (US) by year end ($258.22B) (Lunden, 2018).
What is missing from the metrics of measurement for conversion rate is the correlation
between the direct marketing done on social media platforms and the Amazon conversion as
more and more of these customers are spending on Amazon and may have actually seen the
placement on a social media platform such as Facebook but did not click through a link to make
a purchase, opting instead to purchase as part of other items they wanted from Amazon with no
delivery fee and a stellar customer service policy on returns (as well as satisfaction).
Facebook has released tools to help with the other problem of tracking conversion or
“lift-off” rates for its advertisers with the advent of “Conversion Lift™”. This technology was
created to help truly bridge the gap between mobile browsing and computer-based browsing,
thus providing what they refer to as “cross-device conversion measurement”. Their pro to this
measurement tool is to truly measure business value and not clicks (which may or may not
convert to actual sales from the portal it was originally advertised in” (Facebook, N.D.)
As we dive into Facebook’s customer acquisition rate(s), the metric is hard to quantify to
a hard number for overall customers or even a specific number for General Motors (before,
during, or after the pullout from Facebook). However, we can estimate what a customer
acquisition rate is for our own advertising needs on a basic formula. If we have a $300.00
budget for advertising (social media) monthly, based on an overall budget, we can target our
programs and statistical approaches to customer acquisitions through the many Facebook tools
available to us (even a class on how to use them called Blueprint™) and reduce our CAC,
overall. On a $300.00 budget monthly it averages out to approximately $1.00 per day (based on
“engagement” methods) (HOW MUCH DO FACEBOOK ADS COST FOR E-COMMERCE?,
7. MARKETING PLAN: THE
2017). This engagement budget is based on things such as page likes, images, videos, or text-
based advertising methods and is a program designed for a spread across social media (shares,
likes, etc.) (Vidomanets, 2015).
Diving deeper into these CAC rates, we can see that 2016 estimates place the CPC rate
(US) at 27.92C (27.40 all objectives) while the CPM or Cost Per Thousand rate was 7.19C
(7.34C all objectives) for the US. These rates have specific, targeted markets as well as ad
placement, month, day, and time of placement, as well as other macroeconomic trends such as
demographics of audience which drive the rates as well as the success rates of such ads, varies
depending upon the research for targeted results that the person placing the ads uses and
understands (Gotter, 2018). This will be approached more when we discuss the solutions for
advertising later in the paper. The more important metric to the customer conversion rate is the
customer retention rate. We often see ads for things and try them but if they fail to meet
expectations, the conversion rate remains high but the retention rate drops because repeat
business is directly impacted by failed product sell-through to customers.
Facebook has put together many targeting refinement tools to help their customers reach
a target audience. Among these tools are “Ad Manager”, which allows for ad refinement based
on results as well as targeted statistics to help reach the target audience you seek. They also
offer a full course in their tools and packages designed to help their advertisers adjust and
acclimate to these tools and use them most effectively, this training is called “Blueprint” (Ads
Another of these refinement tools for better CAC is the Facebook “Ads Guide”. This
resource allows for a bevy of placement and stylistic options to truly cater the experience to the
user demographics and preferences. From placement to video options, instant experience, offers,
8. MARKETING PLAN: THE
lead generation, etc., these tools are there to help keep your CPC rate low while turning your
clicks into conversions of sales for your products (Ads Guide, N.D.). These are just a few of the
refinement tools that Facebook offers in order to learn what will work best for you while setting
your own budget and target audience. The Blueprint class is, by far, the best thing any new
social media advertiser can review and learn from as it will ensure they know exactly what tools
are available and how to use them for both successful advertising and targeted, positive,
All of these tools are relatively new since Facebook’s IPO, which have brought great
value to the company’s platform, allowing them to not only retain their customers following the
departure of General Motors but to grow exponentially as a result of their innovations available
for measuring metrics and success rates.
Facebook And The End Of Click Measurements
Facebook in 2017 published some statements that they believe the click measurement is
dated due to the multi-platforms that users have access to (tablets, phones, computers). It is for
this reason that during the last few roadshows for marketers that Facebook had hosted, it was
noted that 77% of attendees felt that the pay per click measurement was dated and that moving to
a more people-based measurement with multi-touch attributions more accurately deliver the data
they are seeking to measure as it covers a cross-platform environment. Additionally, they
propose a simple three-point plan for taking your efforts to a more people-based measurement
Step 1: Run an attribution check up and go from there
Step 2: Measure brand lift or sales
Step 3: Switch to people-based multi-touch attribution with one of our partners
9. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Their solution to not only the click measurement but the failure of the cookie
measurement across platform devices for the same user are causing these numbers to be skewed
(The Last Days of Last Click Measurement, 2017). These partners also measure mobile lift rates
for users to aide in the true measurement of data (sans the hole created by Amazon) (People-
Based Marketing: Thinking People-First Planning and Measurement, 2017). Because of the void
created by Amazon shoppers, it is apparent that the conversion rates are, indeed, skewed. With
many seeing products on social media but choosing to buy them on eBay, Amazon, Itsy, or other
portal which is not part of the overall search query, we can never really know the conversion
rates of our advertising efforts.
Facebook’s Attribution Modeling
Attribution modeling is imperative to understanding the types of actions users take when
viewing your ads. Within Facebook, these actions can be things such as “likes”, watching a
video of your ad, or clicking on the link itself within the ad in order to either learn more or
purchase directly. Their portal for Facebook Ads Manager helps to decipher these different
actions into real-time reporting tools for tracking ad success (Facebook's Attribution System,
N.D.). Users are able to change their views to see the actions taken in a specific time period to
better review their success. The following diagram is an example of a 7-day time frame of
viewing attribute models (Facebook's Attribution System, N.D.)
These attribution examples can stem from a user completing a “click-through attribution”
where they click on your ad, link, or image to gain more information. Alternatively “view-
through attributions” are those ads which were seen but no action was taken (often similar to an
10. MARKETING PLAN: THE
ad in between a video you are watching). Facebook’s Ads Manager allows for you to change
objectives tracking in order to better understand your results. For instance, they allow for a user
to change the attribute to see how many times the item was added to a shopping cart by a user
who viewed the ad. Your results window will only appear after you have reached your goals
(Facebook's Attribution System, N.D.).
In order to view results off of Facebook, you will need the Facebook Pixel, Mobile SDK,
or Offline Events interfaces to track consumer behavior after they leave Facebook in search of
your products (Facebook's Attribution System, N.D.). In order to keep accurate results for your
efforts, these attributes can be changed to track specific trends in ad reporting so that you can see
the true story of your placements to determine if the model is appropriate for your needs.
A published list of 38 case studies showcasing the attribution model advertising success
(or failure) for campaigns on different budgets with different targets. What these modes teach us
is that we need to understand our audience before placing an ad, as well as have our attributes
clearly defined, click through sales tracking, cost per click, cost per conversion (customer), and
lead generation costs (data collected from the campaign) properly prepared so that we can
prepare the right ads to the right markets and clients (The Ultimate List of Facebook Ads Case
Studies (+ 38 lessons you can’t ignore), N.D.). Not all success stories come from revenue
generation, some come from new followers or new lead generation created from the platform, or
even a low budget ad platform (such as the $1/day) and how you can be successful in alternate
terms from conversions or click through based on this (did you gain new viewers, followers,
11. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Facebook Branding Issues
While marketing presents its own challenges in the age of both social media and the
digital age due to the need for segmented marketing tactics, marketing on places like Facebook
and Twitter have their own specific challenges (as with Instagram). Buffer identifies 10
challenges to social media marketing as follows (Peters, N.D.):
1. Creating an authentic connection to audience: the need for immediate comment
responses and chat responses within social media showcases the customer service aspect
of your business.
2. Create social media marketing strategy: creating a “Roadmap to Success”, answer “why
we are on social media” and “how do we measure success” as part of your overall
3. Dramatic drop in “organic reach”: by “looking for high engagement but low return as
growth barometer for potential success” you ensure your strategy success.
4. Coming up with continually good content: Best results are story, creative, and original
5. Content quantity over Quality: More followers over time, posting too much content too
close together can irritate followers and people on social media, creating less interest and
loss of followers.
6. Getting content to larger audience: through “influencers” who help share brand
awareness, syndicating content through channels, and a need to answer questions an
respond to comments using Quora™.
7. Finding ways to encourage sharing: through great stories, making your audience look
smart or classy, or creating an emotional appeal are your best avenues for the “share”
button to be clicked.
12. MARKETING PLAN: THE
8. Using data to back intuition: by tracking your specific results, such as clicks, referrals,
purchases, etc. using a spreadsheet, you can really see where your success truly lies,
rather than just guessing. A sheet with this type of data will really provide a clear picture
9. Creating quality visuals: appealing, engaging, clear, beautiful. Graphics draw the eye of
the viewers. By appealing to a certain demographic you can find success. In the example
of a shelter, they were trying to raise money to help their feeding and care efforts of their
animals. It was for this reason that they posted a very clean, cared for dog holding a sign
in its mouth with the mission and needs of the shelter on a chalkboard. The shelter was
able to raise more than their goal due to their appropriate placement and heartfelt
graphics which appealed to animal lovers across social media.
10. Focusing on things that matter most: putting process before tactic and treating a “growth
machine” as “scalable, predictable, and repeatable” ensures success.
So what do we learn from these challenges? Using the luxury market as an example, Forbes
staff writer Nikki Forbes showcases the need for not only the above conditions to be met but
13. MARKETING PLAN: THE
also a more responsive need from these brands on social media. But the response is not
enough, many brands are finding extreme success through behavioral tactics as they would in
the store. By this, what is implied is the urgency they are creating with posts such as “limited
time”, “limited quantity”, and other tools which draw customers to purchase the items less
they miss them forever (Baird, 2017).
In addition to the implied urgency or limited quantity tactics to drive sales, Nikki Baird
also points out a pivotal problem with simply setting up a social media page while failing to
monitor it (or provide any type of service). Here are examples of both the good (Starbucks)
and the bad (Coach) on social media and how they handle customer posts, comments, emails,
tags, and other issues (Baird, 2017):
POSITIVE RESPONSE NEGATIVE RESPONSE
As you can see from these social media posts and threads, customer satisfaction drives
the consumer happiness. What is not immediately obvious from these companies is the valuation
(stock price). While the average Starbucks coffee is around $4.00 and the average Coach bag is
$500.00, Starbucks has proved that customer service (attention to your customers needs) is (I
14. MARKETING PLAN: THE
part) behind their incredible stock price of $56.69 compared to Coach at $49.33 (based on
September 25, 2018 pricing).
Facebook Going Forward: Social Media Marketing
Social media (and the internet) has changed the face of the classic 4 P’s of marketing,
driving sales to a more virtual marketplace where customers search out research, demo’s,
reviews, and other information before making key purchases on items. Facebook, Instagram,
YouTube, and other portals have been key to this change to the 4 P’s of traditional marketing.
The product will always remain the focus of the 4 P’s and are at the forefront in a digital
environment. People are seeing products they never before could due to both the entrepreneurial
spirit and the availability of alternate (cost saving) platforms for engagement with customers via
platforms like social media and YouTube (for product demos).
Place(ment) has changed from where the product is in the store to where you view it
online. Because of advanced data mining and AI efforts of tech companies, you are being shown
items that are in the same categories as those you have viewed before and are seeing ads
embedded into your video feeds on Facebook and YouTube as a way to get the message into the
Promotion is a Facebook priority. Through their already heavy offering of free products
and services to their advertisers in order to track how effective their promotions are (based on
their specific criteria and data mining efforts). Social media will continue to drive consumer
interest and promotion like never before, as more and more customers, are taking to the web for
both the newest trends in products but the feedback of other users (and influencers) to drive their
15. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Price is a variable which has a dependability on the success of a product. Looking at
Amazon’s biggest product of 2017, the Instant Pot™, we can see that the unit originally sold for
around $240.00 in December of 2013 and had dismal sales. However, once the pricing was
corrected to meet the market and the product improved, Instant Pot™ could be purchased starting
at around $60.00 (model variable), which made it the hit of Amazon in 2017 (see APPENDIX D)
(Instant Pot DUO60 6 Qt 7-in-1 Multi-Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice
Cooker, Steamer, Sauté, Yogurt Maker and Warmer (B00FLYWNYQ) , n.d.).
Facebook and other social media sites will continue to dominate the world marketplace
for Innoventions and products for consumers as they strive to become more knowledgeable about
their purchases (higher ticket) or obtain the most sought-after items ahead of the “desire curve”.
This is driven on both cost and reach for new customers (CAC, CPC). The low costs of
advertising on these portals are driving product innovations, consumer spending on new items,
and the viral popularity of some items which found their start on the social media portals.
General Motors: The Real Problem
While General Motors pulling their advertising revenue out of Facebook just three days
prior to the record-breaking IPO was alarming, the auto manufacturer was quick to imply that
social media marketing did not work for them (Slagen, N.D.).
While this paper has approached the subject of what makes a great ad campaign, GM
tried and failed, with their first attempt to market the Chevy Sonic campaign as the first “mobile
only” pilot campaign while test driving new tracking measurements released by Facebook
following the IPO. When the automaker left the social media giant in 2012, they also terminated
the employment of their Chief Marketing Officer a few months later (Joel Ewanick) while
16. MARKETING PLAN: THE
returning to Facebook with new approaches (and tools) in 2013 under new guidance (Delo &
So who was really to blame for the failure? Suspected failures loom around both the
automaker’s CMO lack of understanding of how social media markets worked, were measured,
or how to properly market on social media to the appropriate customer base while driving an
urgency, desire, or need as well as the lack of available tools at the time of the IPO for Facebook
which allowed the metric review of these campaigns to be truly measured and quantified as
money was spent.
What we notice reviewing the GM Financial Statements (General Motors, 2012), is that
the automaker also reduced (drastically) their advertising budgets since 2012 (as well as the
departure of their CMO). The carmaker is seemingly still stuck in the dark ages of traditional
spending for their ad revenues (T.V., radio, print) while their competitors are ramping up their
social media profiles and finding success in the efforts. So to answer the question of who is to
blame, both Facebook for their failure to provide the tools at the time (however, since remedied)
and GM’s failure to properly manage their social media presence for the money spent – they are
both equally to blame but only one of these entities (Facebook) has done anything to change the
landscape for success.
Realizing their past mistakes, the automaker renewed the Facebook relationship in 2013
with a new (and renewed) effort to expand brand awareness while driving lift off (revenues)
utilizing the newly available metrics to magnify their success rates.
17. MARKETING PLAN: THE
Success Story: Fiat/Chrysler Social Media Success
Other carmakers are finding success in both the conversion and lift off rate of their social
media efforts. Among the most successful is Jeep Grand Cherokee (part of Fiat/Chrysler) who,
after their launch, have not only experienced:
37 point lift in ad recall
11 point lift in brand awareness
9 point lift in favorability
However, through their innovative use of “Custom Canvasses” and “Instant Experience,” they
were able to create a series of innovative videos showcasing the model(s) side by side, allowing
the users to find the model that fit their lifestyle. Combining two ads in one place allowed for
side by side markets to be reached in a single placement. Their partnership with an innovative
creative agency helped their efforts as the automaker has continued to experience a spike in
sales, likely from their adaptation to social media and digital platforms while using targeted
metric measuring tools to ensure proper spending of their advertising budgets AppendixE (Cain,
2011). In addition, the financial statements reveal lower overall advertising spending and
administrative expenditures due to the social media efforts and presence, which increase
valuation to stockholders and favorability among consumers (2017 Annual Report, 2017).
General Motors with their large advertising budgets, failed to see the future of advertising
and marketing when they pulled out of Facebook just days before the record-breaking IPO and
have since struggled to find success with social media marketing given their outdated
methodologies and practices of advertising, much to their own peril as their sales continue to
18. MARKETING PLAN: THE
drop accordingly. Only time will tell if GM truly gets on board with the inner workings of social
media marketing and the metric tools to help them reach a wider audience for less.
Facebook, on the other hand, has made consistent strides to their efforts to their
advertisers, finding success in ad sales at an impressive pace since the IPO in 2012. Their
statistical tools and innovations for tracking ad performance, lift, CPC, conversions and other
imperative metrics continue to find growth and favor among the advertisers. For those who are
new to the game, Facebook even offers a free “Blueprint” class to help newbies in the social
media game find favor using the available tools from Facebook.
In the end, the social media efforts are only as good as the 4 P’s, customer experience,
customer service, and social presence will take them. As more and more people take to the web
to research big-ticket items such as cars, the response from social media pages as well as
research available to them make the brands grow in popularity such as the case with the Grand
Cherokee from Chrysler.
As platforms for social media improve their offerings to their customers, they also need
to look at tools for measuring the Amazon conversion rate just like they created tools to track
conversions for cross-platform (tablet, phone, computer) lift off rates. The conversion rate for a
product seen on social media but purchased on Amazon is not currently tracked yet Amazon
continues to find huge sales in emerging products – but odds are these products were viewed on
social media first. Only when this metric is included can we truly see the lift-off rate, CPC, and
true sales conversion rates reflected as digital media campaigns continue to grow.