covario-logo.png The senior vice president and chief marketing officer at Covario has some interesting ideas about Facebook, advertising and branding campaigns. In a recent company blog post, Craig Macdonald declared that Facebook Has Passed The Tipping Point in Brand Advertising.

His thesis is built upon a few case studies of clients in the hi-tech industry, as well as trends in Click through Rates (CTRs). According to Macdonald, Facebook and Google are matching each other on a dollar-for-dollar basis. While this is good news for Facebook, which never used to be able to produce such returns, it begs the question: has Facebook passed the tipping point because it, as Macdonald says,

Is delivering truly big time inventory, at comparable pricing to PPC, and with display-like CTRs.

What Does the Surpassing the Tipping Point Mean?

A term made famous by Malcolm Gladwell, he defines the tipping point as "the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point.”

In 2009, a group of Wharton School of Business and University of Pennsylvania School of Engineering students showed that Facebook took 3.4 years to reach its tipping point. Which means that it took a little bit longer for Facebook advertising to reach its tipping point. Just as Facebook is ubiquitous with social networking, Facebook Ads is poised to become synonymous with online advertising.

Once passed, a tipping point could signify that something becomes mainstream. And that’s Macdonald’s point. Now that Facebook is matching Google and Yahoo, dollar-for-dollar, delivering clicks and impressions at the same rate, marketing departments cannot ignore advertising on Facebook. It’s become a part of the equation, just like having a Facebook page or Twitter account.

Because of this Macdonald suggests that budgeting for these online campaigns “should come from current display budgets and from incremental digital budgeting.” Considering the return on investment available, marketing departments can’t afford not to be represented on one of the largest powerhouses.

What Comes Next?

If Macdonald is correct, will companies follow? The enterprise is notorious for heeding advice, especially that which regards social media, slowly. So what can we expect? Obviously, it merits mentioning that if companies run to Facebook at the same time, users risk being overexposed. But this is Facebook. Just when you think you have them figured out, they do something different.

While companies may want to stand out from their competitors, it may behoove them to get to Facebook first. You want to be there when Facebook Ads pass the tipping point, but you don’t want to be there when it ‘jumps the shark’.