Media and creative agencies have a “critical” role to play in Facebook’s future plans, according to global marketing leader Carolyn Everson.

Carolyn Everson, vice president of global marketing solutions, Facebook

Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing, said 80% of her time is dedicated to helping both advertisers and agencies understand how to get the best out of the new opportunities unfolding across the social network. The site’s 850 million users around the world have already enabled Facebook to forge strong direct relationships with many global clients, but bonds with agencies are viewed as an essential part of the mix.

Talking about the role of media strategists, Everson said: “Agencies are critical… It is absolutely essential for us to have tight relationships with the agencies, which helps us scale. We want to partner with the agencies, we have zero interest in dis-intermediating them. I have a dedicated agency team now that works under me at a global level, and we have folks in each region. So we have a team in the UK that focuses exclusively on the agency community. The faster we can make sure that the agency community is not only up to speed but really being strategic advisors to clients the better for our business, because they help us scale.

“We need them in our corner. Creative agencies are critical. The way the creative agency community has to think about this is that for many decades they’ve been thinking about the 30 second spot or the print or the billboard. They have to think about Facebook as an open, creative canvas, and their skillset around sparking a conversation is probably a new skillset.

Creative agencies used to think about why should someone care, they now have to think about why would they care and why would they share?”

With global advertising spends generally back on the rise, it is no surprise that internet ad spend has grown more than any other media in first half of 2012 (up 7.2% over the same period last year). However, social media and Facebook in particular still seems to be under leveraged by most brand owners who view it as simply a place to put out press releases or news bulletins, hoping viewers will care, comment or share; but not really having a clear objectives or any way of measuring success.

Whilst periodically posting quality content may be sufficient for some businesses (ie b2b companies who generally have a relatively small group of customers who respond best to personal direct communications), consumer facing brands wishing to engage and motivate large numbers of more passive viewers need to think beyond a daily update, picture post and the occasional poll or competition. As Everson says, Facebook should be viewed as a new and exciting media (route to market) – but one which still needs be driven by a sound marketing strategy, and engaging creative ideas (route to mind).

WDA offer simple social media start up packages (including Facebook fan page creation) through to complete social campaign strategy and implementation (including custom apps). Get in touch and we’ll happily look over your current activities or answer any question.

*The Everson article was first published on campaignlive

A great year for the Automotive sector with 5 of the top 50’s auto brands enjoying positive brand value changes. The sector as a whole outperforming all others in terms of brand value, ahead of both the financial and FMCG sectors. Whilst Coca-Cola remains in top spot, it is impossible to ignore Apple’s 129% increase ahead of both Google and Microsoft in the technology sector. Chart positions aside, the increasing fiscal values placed on these brands show just how much economic benefit is derived by their respective owners from ‘brand value’ – largely an intangible asset which is increasingly often worth more than a company’s tangible ones.
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