Short Takes: Facebook’s Agency Challenge

There was a time when Madison Avenue was obsessed with the threat from Google. The idea was Google, with its near limitless financial resources and engineering might, was hell-bent on automating the ad industry and cutting out agencies in the process. That didn’t happen. Now it’s Facebook’s turn to feel the concerns. Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus, has a piece up on Harvard Business Review that makes a credible case for why Facebook is moving in a direction that will irrevocably change with media-buying agencies do. Media agencies tend to buy commoditized “nouns” (impressions, clicks, etc.) while Facebook wants to move to sell “verbs” (likes, shares, etc.) Like the Google threat, this one probably won’t materialize to much. Facebook needs agencies to convert its enormous attention into a similarly large media business. There will be room for media agencies to tap into Facebook’s enormous trove of data to do impression-and click-based buying, as Schafer himself notes. Read the full post here.

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