Commentary

I can haz disintermediashun?

So what role do ad and media agencies play in social media campaigns? Are they even necessary? Depends who you ask. On one hand Showtime brought most of its social media responsibilities in-house, according to Robert Hayes, senior vice-president and general manager of digital media for Showtime, but there can be a role for agencies too: Showtime uses agencies "for application development, and to negotiate CPMs for us on some of the media buys, to optimize the flight. We do a lot of A-B testing, and we’re just not large enough, to be honest, to go out there and do that ourselves." John Battelle of Federated Media just suggested an all-encompassing view of social media cutting across all the different parts of a business, and the agencies it employs: "It is the PR person's responsibility, it is the agency's responsibility," but it's also the responsibility of customer service, product development, and engineering. Moderator Joe Marchese, president of SocialVibe, suggests that social media, spread across so many disciplines and business functions, doesn't require a simple agency model so much as a "maestro."
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