Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg, author of “Leaning In” hopes Facebook can take a bite out of Google’s dominance in the online ad space by reviving Atlas, a segment it purchased from Microsoft. Atlas will allow clients to use Facebook’s data to more directly target potential customers and pique their interest. If it is successful, Facebook is likely to snatch some market share from Google, which generated $14 billion in online advertising in the second quarter compared to Facebook’s $2.7 billion.
According to TechFlash, Sandberg told Katie Couric at the Interactive Advertising MIXX conference in Times Square, “What Atlas enables us to do, and Facebook is really focused on, is getting the right message to the right people at the right time, so it is more relevant to consumers.” When asked how Facebook will compete with start-ups that specialize in how to target consumers, Sandberg responded there is “always room for improvement, ” and that most of the people intended to see those ads are not being reached. One result of the lack of effective targeting is that people tune out, and the user experience can be improved. Sandberg said what was needed was “people-based marketing.”
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Atlas CEO Erik Johnson sees the end of cookies. “Cookies are flawed when used alone. Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting, and can’t easily or accurate measure the consumer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world.”