Advertising guru Sir Martin Sorrel talked about the ‘four grey swans’ affecting the global economy when he released WPPs quarterly figures last week.
Grey swans being known issues and black swans being unknown, unpredictable events. It was Rumsfeld-esque.
If we zoom into our own world there is a long list of things for marketers to be thinking about in a digital world which is changing more rapidly now than at any time in the last ten years.
But for me there is one big 'grey swan' - and that is how we measure value.
Mark Zuckerberg generated some headlines last week by saying that ‘at some point’ Facebook wants to be in the search business.
Speaking at the TechCrunch Disrupt conference in San Francisco, ‘The Zuck’ said that Facebook is generating around a billion queries a day already “and we’re not even trying”.
His comments pushed the Facebook share price up by more than 4%. So could Facebook be a Google killer? Is search the answer to its share price malaise?
Facebook certainly has the audience and a billion queries a day, if that’s accurate, is an impressive number. But if it were all about volume of users then Facebook would already be a bigger business than Google.
The reason why it’s not and why it may never be is down to a few obvious fundamentals.