Seven Years In, It’s Time for Social to Grow Up

By Will Margilof, Ad Age Digital:

Today’s social ad platforms–Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Buzzfeed, Wetpaint, Demand Media and the like–have transformed the way we think about media, and shown an intuitive ability to gauge what people (and then their friends and families) will like and share.

Their leaders haven’t been at all shy in forecasting their coming supremacy as the central marketing platforms of digital media, supplanting established consumer intent platforms like search engines as the new portals to the Internet. As someone who cut his teeth at theglobe.com in the late 90’s, perhaps the earliest precursor to what we now call social media, I understand the value proposition that this type of content model, if well executed, can be.

On the other hand, having worked in the search business for many years, I can also say that while social is a promising trend, it will be hard-pressed to usurp meaningful share from search or display and other established digital marketing vehicles until there is consistent, standard measurement of the effectiveness of driving either brand or direct response marketer objectives… Read more

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