Magazine article ADWEEK

Agencies Start to Get Realty Anti-Social

Magazine article ADWEEK

Agencies Start to Get Realty Anti-Social

Article excerpt

Just a few years ago, Legions of businesses practically tattooed themselves with the label "social media agency" so they could ink deals with brand clients looking to get on Facebook. But as the marketing landscape shifts toward cross-digital solutions and demands for big data, the term is beginning to be seen as too limiting by some.

"As I start to talk to more people about the state of the quote-unquote social media agency, I vehemently deny that we are one," said Ian Schafer, CEO of Deep Focus. "That stance is probably not good for business in the short run."

It wasn't terribly long ago when Schafer was growing his now 10-year-old interactive firm by successfully pitching brands like HBO on the company's prowess in creating MySpace and YouTube ads. But when it comes to social channels like Facebook and Twitter, he argues that modern agencies should know how to fit those pieces into cross-channel advertising mosaics.

"Hiring a separate agency or person to do social is probably anathema to achieving that objective," he said. "When brands lean on social media experts to find marketing solutions, they are generally barking up the wrong tree."

Jeff Dachis, president of Dachis Group, a social media marketing and analytics firm, also dislikes the term "social media agency," but for different reasons. It's not so much that the term pigeonholes companies, he said, but it misrepresents a data-driven future of advertising that eschews shouting copy at consumers. …

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