Q&A: Jeff Dachis on the new Facebook APIs and big data

Arguably Jeff Dachis is most known for co-founding the interactive marketing and design agency, Razorfish, in 1995.

A two person operation which started in Dachis’s bedroom in New York, blossomed into a 2200 strong company worth more than six billion dollars. With the dot-com crash, Razorfish fell with it. Its shares plunged to $1 from $47 per share at the beginning of 2000 and 400 employees lost their jobs.

Leaving Razorfish after its downturn, Dachis went on to form Bond Art + Science in 2006 and in 2008, Dachis founded the Dachis Group in Austin, Texas with the idea that everything can and will be social. 

We had a chance to talk to Dachis about why he set up Dachis Group, its relationship with Facebook, how they are integrating Facebook’s new APIs and how marketers can start to leverage Facebook as it moves into big data territory.

Mobile ads to surpass television ads?

Despite the rise of digital advertising, advertisers still spent over $130bn last year on television advertising. Of the tens of billions of dollars advertisers are spending on digital ads, a very small portion, perhaps as little as $1bn, is being spent on mobile ads.

But those figures aren’t stopping Razorfish’s Mobile Practice Lead, Paul Gelb, from making a bold prediction: “I think mobile ad spend will overtake television.” And he isn’t talking about decades from now; he believes mobile could surpass television in the coming years.

Is Facebook the $100,000 diamond watch of marketing?

Over the past two years, Facebook has fast become a major area of
interest for brand marketers.

Lured in by the social network’s 500m+ users, some marketers are evoking memories of the AOL days, going
as far as to promote Facebook Pages over their own websites.

From storefronts to movie rentals, brands are increasingly
focusing on trying to use the site as a platform for commerce. Some
believe Facebook commerce, or f-commerce, could be the next big phase in
the evolution of ecommerce.

But according to a report by Forrester
Research’s Sucharita Mulpuru, despite all of the talk about f-commerce,
Facebook isn’t likely to become a retail force.

Organizing organizations around social media

How are brands and companies organizing around social media? In the case of some very large enterprises, with commitment and decisiveness. Last night in New York, the Social Media Advertising Consortium (SMAC) hosted an elite panel of marketers – all in the top social media role at a global organization – to discuss selling social media processes, strategies and tactics internally.

pauline oresSo how do you get large organizations on board with social media? Until very recently, Pauline Ores (left) led IBM’s social media practice with a particular view to internal training. Of engineers. You know, those guys who use the opposite side of the brain that their colleagues in  marketing do.

Razorfish: Social media is helping established brands. But what about everyone else?

Razorfish has released its annual study into consumer behavior online and this year’s results have a lot to do with social media. According to Feed: The Razorfish Digital Brand Experience Report, many consumers are engaging with brands online to receive exclusive promotions or discounts.

The study also found that people who actively engage with a brand
digitally — from participating in a contest to downloading a mobile
application — are substantially more inclined to purchase and recommend
that brand to others.

The question for brands is how to create digital events that impress consumers. Because negative experiences online have a bad influence on the bottom line for brands.

Brands beware: Consumers don’t trust their social media friends

Twitter has proven that people care about what other people are saying online, regardless of whether they know them in real life. That fact makes brands and advertisers especially interested in getting into the space. But companies should be wary about getting too focused on winning friends and influencing social media users. Because people don’t seem to trust their online friends. 

Razorfish has put out a new study that found only 33% of consumers surveyed trust their friends online.

Microsoft looks to sell Razorfish

When Microsoft acquired advertising services holding company aQuantive for $6bn in 2007, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer hailed the acquisition as “the next step in the evolution of our ad network“.

The deal gave Microsoft aQuantive’s three holdings: Avenue A/Razorfish, Atlas Solutions, and DRIVE Performance Solutions.

Razorfish digital marketing study goes beyond the hype

clark kokichDigital marketing will get a few disruptions in the near future, according to this version of Razorfish’s Digital Outlook Report.

While most of the press attention has gone to the agency’s bullish outlook on social media (surprise, surprise), the warm fuzzies stopped there. Consider the following predictions from Razorfish analysts and executives:

Yahoo looks to differentiate with rich media in search ads

Is it differentiation or desperation? That’s for you to decide but Yahoo definitely thinks the former when it comes to its introduction of rich media to search ads.

With its new Rich Ads in Search program, Yahoo is allowing advertisers to include images, video and even site search forms with their search ads.