Social enterprise software giant Buddy Media Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer Michael Lazerow was at no loss for words this morning when it came to dissecting Facebook’s impact on advertising.
Peppered with questions about the Facebook marketing ecosystem from CNBC “Squawk Box” Co-Host Joe Kernen, who admitted to not being on Facebook, Lazerow dove right into hot topics facing the social network, among them General Motors’ recent yanking of its $10 million ad campaign, the company’s recent acquisitions, and, stepping out of his area of expertise, what to do with Facebook stock. Following are highlights of the main points discussed on the show.
JK: What was GM’s problem? Do they have a point, or does 900 million just overrule any worries that we have when you have that many eyeballs?
ML: The GM story is just a silly story. It’s like saying you’re not advertising on TV ever again in 1950. Of course you’ll advertise at some point. I think what they meant is that right now, Facebook doesn’t fit into their media mix. But eventually, obviously, they’ll be a very big partner, as a lot of the other car companies are.
JK (speaking about Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram): So how do they do it, though?
ML: This is a very early industry … minor shifts in strategy today turn into huge issues. What if Yahoo had decided, instead of $1 billion, to buy Facebook for $3 billion? People would have said that’s crazy, buying Facebook for $3 billion six years ago, when it had 20 million people. You can see that if you don’t play offense and defense in a world where consumers use and spread applications faster than ever, you potentially get eaten by the next generation of apps.
ML: There’s no one better at figuring out what people want today than (Facebook Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer) Mark Zuckerberg. in terms of online, no one has done more than Mark Zuckerberg.
JK: I don’t feel like seeing him in another hoodie.
ML: That’s between you and him…to talk about his (clothing) is a diversion from the fact that Facebook is a really important company. It has billions of people on one platform.
JK: But it is going to be tough to monetize?
ML: It started monetizing four years ago and it’s at $4 billion in sales. (It’s still) so early in their efforts, but show me any company that’s going from zero to $4 billion that quickly. What happens this week or the next three months doesn’t really matter. If you buy Facebook, you have to buy saying, “I’m going to own it for the next five, 10 years.” They’ll figure out advertising … Facebook already has a commerce business. They’ll get into other verticals that make sense for their users … It’s the idea that it’s a platform, and a platform will find the business model that will work, and you have to be patient because they’re not going to ruin the user experience.