Facebook realizes it has a Madison Avenue problem: It has too many ad programs, and they're complicated and confusing, which discourages ad buyers from spending.
But the social-media giant is trying to fix that: At an event Thursday at its headquarters in Menlo, Calif., the company explained to journalists and ad buyers its plan to win back Madison Avenue.
Facebook said its plans to move away from showcasing all of its ad products to instead offer more solution-oriented programs. It says it will begin helping brands do specific things: drive in-store sales, generate online conversations, drive app downloads, and improve brand awareness. (Facebook posted this "Update on Facebook Ads" on its blog.)
"Even though every product is really good on its own, the whole is less than the sum of all parts. It should be simpler," said Fidji Simo, Facebook's product manager for ads. "What we want to do is take the guesswork out of the process."
And with this new solution-oriented approach, Facebook is slashing the 27 ad products it offers to just six or seven over the next six months. The company said it isn't eliminating any ad functionality -- just redundancies -- by sticking with the ad options marketers have found easiest to use.