Balderton Portfolio CMO Summit 2017: Dublin with Facebook and Google

On 1st February, we took a group of CMOs and marketing leaders from the Balderton portfolio to Dublin, for a day of marketing workshops with Google and Facebook.

The marketing challenges faced by our portfolio companies are varied, much like the companies themselves. Some chase $1 CPAs, and others are looking at $200+. Some are impulse buys, others are 6-month purchase cycles with multiple touch points. However, as you often find when you get a critical mass of smart people in the same room, there was a lot of overlap, and a huge amount of shared experience.

We hosted the 'CMO Summit' with Google and Facebook as these companies set a lot of global trends in marketing and advertising. As Jason Kint's tweet below (borrowed from Forbes) sets out quite clearly, both have shown a clean pair of heels to the rest of the industry in terms of revenue and share of total industry growth. Plugging our internal marketers directly into their sector experts felt like the closest we could get to mainlining future marketing trends.

Both Google and Facebook provided a selection of group sessions, deep-dives and 1:1 meetings, on everything from display advertising, measurement, SEO trends and automation. Of course, I don’t want to give away the secret sauce, but there were a few interesting stats and insights that emerged.


On average, there are 7.7 touch points in a purchase path on mobile, versus 3.8 on desktop; which shows importance of understanding attribution on mobile. It is now a year since Google changed its search results layout, allowing adwords copy to be 50% bigger, but most advertisers are still not making proper use of it to maximise impact.

It was interesting to learn that Google are focusing on in-house tracking of users across multiple devices. This is due to the phenomenon of shoppers using multiple devices to research, discover and finalise purchases. Their tracking is contingent on users being logged into their google accounts on all devices.

A sign of the times is that 6/10 celebrities mentioned by 16-34 year olds were Youtube celebs.


Facebook Live gets 10x the number of shares and interactions when compared to regular Facebook posts. During the discussion in the room, we discovered that it has already been trialled by a number of our portfolio, including Rebtel, Nutmeg, and Wooga.

Facebook were keen to stress that the blend of ‘art and science’ was integral to successful Facebook posts, in other words, they have to be visually appealing in addition to well optimised. The Facebook Creative Hub sounds like a useful tool to help bridge this divide.

When creating ads in any format, the Facebook team stressed the importance of uploading multiple images and creative assets. It is also important to note that users may be penalised if the same ad appears to frequently.

Perhaps most critically, negative feedback is weighted 300:1 versus positive. So if you accrue only a few negative feedbacks, it can kill your quality score.

Of course, a huge benefit of the day-long Summit was to enable the portfolio marketers to form stronger relationships, and to kick-start genuine peer-to-peer relationships between companies.

Stay in touch with Balderton

Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date on news from Balderton, and our portfolio.