Who Will Manage The Online Ad Conversation?

    November 8, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

The debut of Facebook’s Social Ads builds upon the path of “pull” advertising being walked in social media. It presents a challenge to the brands, marketers, and agencies who manage the advertising message.

Facebook’s Social Ads endeavor generated plenty of attention and commentary, and not just for founder Mark Zuckerberg’s “Once every hundred years, media changes” line.

Deloitte & Touche We chatted with Deloitte & Touche Principal and Lead Interactive Advertising executive Tim Davis about the Facebook phenomenon. While it’s far too early to tell what kind of impact Facebook’s ads will have on marketing, Davis called it an “appealing move,” one that takes ads to a conversational place.

The move shifts the delivery of that advertising, with Davis noting such ads represent a pull model. In the first few years of online advertising, that model was a push, Davis said, as advertisers put as much in front of consumers online as possible.

Early advertisers honed their push models in those early years, and they wielded ads like a club. Naturally, few people want to be beaten with advertising, although considering the nature of the Internet, there are probably one or two fetish sites for that sort of thing.

Now, the consumer is more like the king when it comes to the advertising model. Push has its uses, but the pull proves more welcome for ads. It’s been a positive development.

The negative side, as Davis readily acknowledged, means the conversations people have about brands won’t be relentlessly positive. There will be negativity, but that’s something brands will have to engage.

“Transparency is an inevitable consequence of push advertising,” said Davis. “Marketers need to put themselves into conversations; they need to be brutally honest.”

We know what they need to do, but in the world of advertising, the question of who will fulfill this need is open to debate. Should it be the brand doing so? Its marketers? The ad agency managing a campaign?

There are more people at the table, Davis said, and someone there will have to manage the conversation. Going forward, brands and their partners need to decide who that will be.

We see this push movement and the need for conversational interaction as one that may drive a newer segment of the market. Our recent discussion of Buzzlogic suggested the kinds of tools the conversationalists will need to interact in the world of push advertising.