Many elements of the Facebook Annual Report would be essential as part of Facebook’s marketing plan. These include items such as an overview of Facebook, the perceived value of Facebook to its target market, outreach efforts, products available, and an overview of competitors. While these items are certainly beneficial to Facebook’s marketing plan, there are additional elements that are lacking in the annual report that would be essential as part of a marketing plan. The first item lacking in the marketing plan is a clearer vision of the target market, including demographics and statistics about the “typical” Facebook user as well as any plans for expansions into new regions and markets. The annual report provides more of a generalized snapshot than a thorough analysis of the target market and plans for market expansion. Thus, this section straddles the line between annual report information versus marketing plan information.
Another item lacking in the marketing plan is an overview of the threats and opportunities to Facebook. Often included in a marketing plan, a threats and opportunities section analyzes the weaknesses of an organization as well as the potential for expansion and market growth. While Facebook’s annual plan touches on the current state of its products, services, and briefly mentions competitors, it does not take an in-depth approach to the challenges and threats that Facebook faces in a hyper competitive marketplace. The risks section briefly mentions the threats to the organization; however, takes more of an overall business strategy approach rather than being focused exclusively on marketing elements.
Overall, the annual report is a thorough document that overviews the current state of Facebook as well as future outlook. It is a fantastic starting point for developing a marketing plan that can be used by Facebook’s marketing professionals; however, cannot be used as a substitute for such a plan. Through pulling data and information from the annual report, a marketing professional would be able to begin to develop and expand upon an effective, substantial marketing plan.