The years of 2021 to 2023 have been transformational in terms of the roles and responsibilities of Meta advertisers. The specific areas where agencies can focus to provide value are evolving rapidly.
If you’re paying attention, you see what is coming. Targeting is moving broad, and when advertiser inputs are allowed they are merely suggestions. It is becoming less important for the advertiser to test multiple audiences and An ad set is a Facebook ads grouping where settings like targeting, scheduling, optimization, and placement are determined. More against one another. Some advertisers have already declared remarketing to be dead. While I don’t agree, a future when that is true is entirely possible.
Even copy and creative are getting a boost from AI enhancements. Meta recommends new copy based on your initial inputs and adjusts images and videos automatically to drive better results.
Some have gone so far as to declare that the need for ad agencies will disappear in the not-so-distant future. Barring unforeseen advancements and developments, that prediction seems far-fetched. Instead, there does appear to be a leveling of the playing field. And that will result in raising the bar for getting your ads to stand out.
While creating a passable campaign will become easier, it will become easier for everyone. Standing out and winning the ad auctions will become more difficult.
What will the roles and responsibilities of the future ad agency look like? To a point, I expect them to be mostly the same as they are now. But time and focus will shift. Where agencies can provide the most value will shift as well.
No, ad agencies won’t be replaced by AI — not yet, at least. Here’s where I expect the business will go…
1. Ad Creative Dominant
I don’t want to make this sound as though ad creative hasn’t been important until now. But it is and will continue to be far more important going forward.
In the past, you may have implemented a unique strategy that few advertisers used. These strategies were often focused on campaign and ad set construction. But these approaches will become standard.
Let’s use Advantage+ Shopping as an example here. Assuming this is the structure going forward, the opportunities for differentiation outside of the ad are minimal. It’s unlikely that you will employ a little-known strategy that other advertisers will not.
The differentiation will happen at the ad level. You craft amazing ads that attract your client’s ideal This is the group of people who can potentially see your ads. You help influence this by adjusting age, gender, location, detailed targeting (interests and behaviors), custom audiences, and more. More (because the targeting is in the ad now). Next-level image, video, and copywriting will be required.
Prolific and professional ad creation will be how your agency stands out.
2. Conversion Attribution is how Meta gives credit to an ad for a conversion. Your Attribution Setting determines how your ad will be delivered and the reporting attribution window. The default Attribution Setting is 7-day click and 1-day view, which means that anyone who converts within 7 days of clicking or 1 day of viewing your ad will be counted as a conversion. More
Ad attribution (connecting credit for a conversion to your ad) has become a hot topic during the past few years. Tracking changes related to iOS 14 were not a one-off obstacle. This will continue to be a challenge.
You won’t be able to get away with saying that you spent $50,000 last month on ads and you’re merely “confident” that your efforts are responsible for the client’s increase in sales. You’ll need to connect the dots.
You’ll be required to verify the client is set up properly to send conversion information via the pixel (as long as that is possible) and Conversions API (both web and CRM). You will also need to define those events (standard and custom) and have an expert who manages the process to verify deduplication and proper firing.
It will be your job to make sense of the data — whether through Ads Manager or a third-party tool — no matter how challenging it gets.
3. Structural Setup
This step is often overlooked as a nuisance, but it is required. You must have a proper Business Manager setup and client-partner relationship to share assets. Anything less is unprofessional and risky.
Your client must have a Every organization should have their own Business Manager to organize their assets (pages, ad accounts, pixels, and more), and then provide appropriate access to those assets to partners. More. You must have a Business Manager. The client must add you as a partner. And then the client must share all assets (business pages, audiences, pixels, and apps) with you.
Ideally, the client will share their ad account. If not, you will create a new ad account for the client — not use a single ad account for all clients.
You will manage the client’s product catalog and make sure that it consists of complete titles, descriptions, and updated pricing for ads. You will also assure the creative within the catalog is suitable for ads.
4. Industry Knowledge and Basic Strategy
Meta can streamline the campaign creation process, but industry knowledge and basic strategy will always be required.
2. How should you optimize your The campaign is the foundation of your Facebook ad. This is where you'll set an advertising objective, which defines what you want your ad to achieve. More? An inexperienced advertiser doesn’t understand the weaknesses of various types of optimizations. The client will throw money away.
3. How many campaigns, ad sets, and ads should you use? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach, but you also shouldn’t overdo this. Meta is moving towards an approach of more ads, but fewer campaigns and ad sets.
4. How do you test? You can run A/B split tests, but it’s not always necessary. Know when and how to test.
5. What are the latest features and changes? You need to be responsible for knowing how things are changing and what you need to do differently.
The Focus Shift
Maybe your agency does all of these things now. The change is in the focus.
It’s not that you will simply be responsible for creating ads. The effectiveness of those ads — rather than the campaign construction — will be how you are judged. It will be how you differentiate yourself from other agencies.
It’s not just that you will need to connect the dots on ad attribution. This will become more challenging. You will need to connect all available conversion sources to make sure your ads are getting proper credit — and generate reports that emphasize what you’ve done.
These will be your two most important roles, but you will still be responsible for every other step along the way — from Business Manager setup to basic campaign creation.
And, yes, more AI-powered tools (developed both by Meta and third parties) will emerge. It will be a requirement that you know about them and leverage them when beneficial.
It’s not the AI that will replace you — it’s the agencies that know how to best leverage that AI that will.
Some Will Abandon Agencies — Or Will Try
I do think there’s a real risk to ad agencies during this next phase of Meta advertising. But truthfully, it’s the agencies that don’t evolve that are at the highest risk.
While campaign creation has become increasingly streamlined, it’s still nowhere close to an easy process for anyone to pick up and manage themselves. It is possible, but anyone taking on this role will need to become an industry expert themselves. That will require an investment of time and resources.
This is nothing new. Some companies will experiment with moving management of advertising to an internal department or role as a cost-cutting move. But it’s an experiment that often fails without proper investment.
How are you preparing for the next phase as a Meta ads agency?
Let me know in the comments below!