Balancing Facebook With Sponsored Ads; New Acxiom CRO Delivers Pitch; Turow On Digital’s Credit Score

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Balancing Like And Revenue

A Wall Street Journal article points to the balance Facebook must strike to extract revenue from advertisers while keeping consumers happy. Until recently, brand owners have been able to create their Facebook pages and get in their “Like-ers” daily news feeds whenever the brands post new stories to their pages. But, steadily, brands ability to get in the streams has been diminished algorithmically by Facebook as it looks to make marketers pay for the news feed “pleasure” with “Sponsored Stories” instead. In some ways, this is similar to Google paid ad listings in Google search. The difference is that there are no organic (unpaid) listings “stream” in Facebook which a brand can be the best result (according to Google’s rules) for a particular keyword or phrase. This is an individual’s curated Facebook experience after all. Yet, it would seem logical that if a user chooses a brand through a “like”, it should appear in the news feed – “I’d like to hear from my brand.” The reality of Facebook’s revenue needs and what the user wants may be diverging slightly, especially as Facebook edges towards an IPO. Given the gyst of the article, Facebook seems to be increasingly telling its users, “You can see your friends, but you can’t see your favorite brands unless they pay for it. We have to make money.” Users could be OK with that, too. It’s a balance.

Acxiom Adds CRO, Pitching Brand Safety

MTV and Myspace sales exec Nada Stirratt has jumped ship for data provider Acxiom where she’ll take on the role of Chief Revenue Officer. Read the release. Stirratt tells Ad Age’s Michael Learmonth that in regards to today’s concerns around data and privacy online – “That’s why I’m here so we can be a part of those conversations about the use of data and what marketers should be doing with their data.” Leveraging data in the face of the privacy discussion has become part of the sales pitch for the big data providers to marketers who ask, “Are you brand-safe?” Read more.

Display Standards

In New Media Age, Lucy Tesseras explores the standardization of display ad file sizes in the UK. AIS creative director Geoff Gower says don’t bother, “It would be nice if it was easier for us to work with one set of standards, but that by its very nature means we’ll continue to deliver the same type of ads. Sensible, forward-thinking brands should be looking at bigger, more flexible sponsorship and partnership models, rather than just buying more space and shouting at people.” Read more.

The Credit Score Of Data

On the Upstream Group blog, Doug Weaver reviews the new book on digital data and privacy by Penn professor Joseph Turow. Weaver summarizes some of Turow’s thinking and the effects of prediction through digital data, “Over time, one consumer will enjoy better discounts and better access to quality brands and offers than his less fortunate counterpart. Perhaps more important are the ways in which these two consumers content experiences will diverge as a result of all the profiling that’s been done. Like it or not, each of us is getting an online data version of an invisible credit score. Turow gets this and his readers will too.” Read it.

Agencies Getting Chummy With Publishers

One of the ways agencies are looking to provide differentiated offerings within their competitive set is through direct publisher relationships. This was on display at last week’s OPA Summit, according to the OPA blog, where McCann Erickson’s Matt Freeman told the audience of online publishers, “‘The agency business and online publishing are not that dissimilar.’ [Freeman added] that the goal is to determine ‘how we can work together to create new ideas in partnership with online publishers.” Read more on the OPA Summit for Day 1 and Day 2.

Pre-Qualified Audience

In a post titled, “The Anonymous Audience: An Anchor on the Revenue Model,” Scout Analytics’ Matt Shanahan writes, “The anonymous audience is a severe drag on a publisher’s revenue model. They are an anchor holding back the development of audience engagement and expansion of revenue streams.” Some interesting findings here – including the value of search engine optimization for this use case. Read more. Registered audience is best.

Everyone Is A Programmer

On his personal blog, entrepreneur and investor Chris Dixon responds to the notion by some in the tech world that everyone should learn programming. Don’t worry, marcom type. Dixon says you don’t need to learn programming, but, “if you are a non-technical person working at a web company the the first thing you should learn is internet architecture (DNS, http, html, web servers, database, TCP/UDP, IP, etc).” Read more.

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