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Social Experts Weigh in on Atlas

Published: October 1, 2014

Author: Molly Shotwell


Atlas has been officially announced, and according to 3Q’s own Dave Yoo, it represents a significant step for Facebook Advertising:

Atlas’ “people-first” marketing approach stays aligned with Facebook’s “audience-first” driven advertising platform, which can be seen as a subtle yet significant paradigm shift in how digital marketing is executed. Even Google is moving away from the keyword and pushing more audience-driven channels. –Dave Yoo, COO of 3Q Digital on InsideFacebook

We all see big changes coming, but with any big announcement it’s a good time to step back and really examine the potential impact of such a shift. We turned to our expert FBPPC writers for their opinions.

In six months, what do you think marketers will be saying about Atlas’s impact?

If Atlas works as advertised, I believe marketers will be using the platform as a source of proof that their campaigns are working and to more accurately plot out the customer journey. Right now many advertisers have a hard time getting reliable and accurate data out of Facebook, so proving the ROI is challenging, especially when you take multi-screen campaigns into account. Atlas could be the tool that makes social ads relevant for more online businesses and also has the potential to double Facebook’s ad revenue in 2015 just like the News Feed and mobile ads did in 2013. If Facebook places an emphasis on keeping the network top-tier quality, I also see more marketers making recommendations to move ad budget from other extremely competitive platforms like AdWords, especially with the level of tracking Atlas is supposedly capable of. –Tom Lambert, Director of Paid Acquisition, Single Grain LLC

You’ll always find people gushing over a new product like this, but in a six-month time frame we’d have to be sure that the product has been fully rolled out. The key for Atlas, for the mass market, won’t come in the tracking I don’t think, but will come in the product placement adverts. That’s the game changer. –Bob Bamber, Social Media Project Manager, One2One Digital

I think marketers will enjoy taking advantage of Facebook’s first-party, cross-device data to better inform and add effectiveness to their digital campaigns. Advertisers will also see more options to enable interest-based targeting across the web and in various formats. –Greg Kunkel, Director of Corporate Communications, Marin Software

Do you plan to try advertising on Atlas? Why, and how soon?

Like any new promising paid acquisition channel, we plan to test Atlas as soon as it’s available to us. If the platform provides more clarity or insight into our campaign performance or more reliable data we will continue using it. Facebook is finally listening to marketers concerns about their advertising platform so this could be huge for those with an emphasis on digital. –Tom Lambert, Director of Paid Acquisition, Single Grain LLC

Yes, I plan on recommending it to any client currently advertising on Facebook as well as any client spending significantly on the Google Display Network as soon as it’s available to them. The sooner you get in, learn the ins and outs, and optimize, the better you can stay ahead of competitors and capture profitable leads. –Robert Brady, Founder of Righteous Marketing 

Depends on how quickly it becomes available, and how early we can use it in the UK. Would certainly like to give it a try, to see what the features are about. But the tracking I’m less concerned about (I’m not fully convinced tracking is a game-changer unless you’re dealing with a huge volume of traffic) – the advert part of it could be huge, but it depends on how soon that becomes available, and exactly the kind of features you can use. –Bob Bamber, Social Media Project Manager, One2One Digital

While not an advertiser, I can say Marin Software’s integration of Atlas is already complete and ready to. So, joint customers of Atlas and Marin can start taking advantage of the partnership. –Greg Kunkel, Director of Corporate Communications, Marin Software

In your opinion, what’s the biggest advantage (and disadvantage) Atlas has over competing networks?

The biggest advantage is having the largest social network and data-mining organization ever known to man providing your campaign data, I believe that alone will fast-track the adoption and development of the platform more than anything else. The biggest disadvantage is the uproar of privacy concerns Facebook is already battling. Tracking users more closely is without a doubt going to increase the size of the privacy headache for Facebook, and depending on how deep the “creepy” factor goes, Facebook might even run into issues with privacy laws and regulations. –Tom Lambert, Director of Paid Acquisition, Single Grain LLC

The biggest advantage is the single user experience. By tying the advertising experience to a Facebook login, it takes a big step toward multi-device targeting of individuals. The potential is definitely there, but as usual we’ll hear a lot about privacy concerns, where Facebook doesn’t have a great track record. –Robert Brady, Founder of Righteous Marketing 

The biggest advantage of advertising with Atlas is that they have cross-device data available from Facebook. Atlas can utilise the Facebook ID to help marketers run more effective campaigns. Atlas and Facebook together can do people-based marketing so that marketers can more effectively reach audiences in and outside of Facebook properties. –Greg Kunkel, Director of Corporate Communications, Marin Software

Biggest advantage of Atlas is the biggest advantage of Facebook advertising: what it already knows. Retargeting adverts are reactive, based of what you’ve already looked at. There’s plenty of stuff I don’t look at that I might otherwise be interested in. Facebook’s advert platform is already great in enabling advertisers to get in front of the right users, but it offers a very limited, one dimensional method of doing so. With Atlas, the potential is to be able to reach people across the web could be massive in terms of scale.
The disadvantage, perhaps, is the public reaction to it. Atlas is *another* reminder about Facebook’s privacy settings, about how it’s following users around the web. Not sure your average user will like this development – depending on how much they know about it. Compared to competing networks, I’d be relying on my fairly limited personal knowledge of PPC, but beyond the user reaction to it (will they download browser extentions to block the tracking or the adverts?) I can’t think of anything major that strikes me as a massive disadvantage vs. Google Adsense, say. Bob Bamber, Social Media Project Manager, One2One Digital

So there you have it. The reactions to Atlas seem reservedly optimistic, though among our experts there’s definitely going to be a high adoption rate. Bigger and better things for Facebook? Only time will tell.

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