Why Facebook Ads keep failing: Lessons learned from spending over US$1m on Facebook Ads

John Huntinghouse, Vice President of Marketing and Emma Franks, Account Based Marketing Manager, TAB Bank and Ben Fife, Partner and Chief Digital Officer, Fluid Advertising

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Abstract: Facebook’s utilisation of machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) can often identify profitable targets more quickly and more effectively than can human campaign managers. However, there is still much that marketers may do to ensure optimal placement and delivery when it comes to their Facebook Ad campaigns and leveraging the power of Facebook’s machine learning and AI capabilities. This article discusses the some of the issues that marketers face in trying to fully utilise Facebook’s machine-learning capabilities and how many marketers struggle to create campaign structures that allow them to optimise and scale their digital campaigns on Facebook. This article will detail a few of these frameworks, strategies and tactics. The article does not advocate the ‘right’ framework to use but rather argues simply that having a framework will ensure better results and support learning throughout the campaign.


Keywords: Facebook; digital marketing; digital advertising; machine learning; social media; video marketing


John Huntinghouse is the Vice President of Marketing at TAB Bank. He holds an MBA from the University of Utah and has also taught college students about social media marketing, digital marketing strategy, analytics, paid search, search engine optimisation and web design. John has been featured in Forbes, BuzzFeed, Authority Magazine, E-online and numerous online publications for his work in digital marketing. John serves on multiple advisory boards and organisations and speaks at various educational and industry conferences each year.


Emma Franks is the Account Based Marketing Manager at TAB Bank. She has spoken at local, national and international marketing conferences on such topics as Google Tag Manager, YouTube audiences for search, digital marketing best practices and paid social marketing for business-to-business companies. Emma is a dual MBA/MS marketing degree candidate at the Indiana University Kelley School of Business, class of 2021, and is concurrently serving as President of the Kelley Direct Marketing Association for the 2020–2021 academic year. Emma was certified as a Facebook Media Planning Professional in 2019.


Ben Fife is a Partner and Chief Digital Officer at Fluid Advertising. He specialises in innovation, advanced analysis, attribution, predictive modelling, data mining, social media analytics and digital channel optimisation. He is a frequent speaker at conferences, and has taught and developed curriculum for social media analytics at LDS Business College, and microeconomics and managerial accounting at Brigham Young University-Idaho. He holds an MBA from the University of St. Gallen, a bachelor’s of science in economics from Brigham Young University-Idaho, and post-graduate courses at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


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