New York - Facebook's big day here wasn't just about Gotham becoming a town that more engineers call home. Tucked into COO Sheryl Sandberg's comments about hiring a slew of new technologists on Friday were her brief remarks that Facebook would also expand its ad sales and marketing team at its Madison Avenue office.
After a press conference that included speeches by New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg and U.S. Senator Charles Shumer, ClickZ News briefly spoke with Carolyn Everson, Facebook VP of global marketing solutions. Everson confirmed that her company wants to bring aboard more marketing rainmakers, whether they are ad sales pros or creative talent.
"I'm really looking for people that understand marketing and business and who can help clients problem-solve," she said.
Even though it's still early in this last month of 2011, Everson's comments put a fitting bow on a year when Facebook aggressively began reaching out to brands and agencies - or "clients" - as a marketing consultant option for its own platform.
Facebook Studio was launched in April, providing Facebook marketers with a case study-driven community to exchange best practices. During August, Facebook's partnership with Nielsen culminated with a new so-called Gross Rating Point for online advertisers. Marketers using Nielsen's "Online Campaign Rating" service can know - based on Facebook data - the age and gender of up to 50 percent of the people seeing their web ads.
Facebook collaborated with Nielsen to hopefully make its ad units - especially Sponsored Stories - more attractive to marketers. Throughout 2011, the Palo Alto, CA-based company repeatedly met with the agency world to discuss why social context ads can be effective, as well as brainstorm how they can be improved.
And it's hard to argue with the results - major brands have cottoned to the social site. Diageo, Walmart, and American Express are just a few of the big names that deepened their marketing relationships with Facebook during the past year.
Foursquare And Other Silicon Alley Stars Put on Notice
Meanwhile at today's press conference, Sen. Schumer said Facebook's increased presence in New York could be transformative for the city's tech reputation. "I think this is a turning point," he said.
Whatever the case, the development begs a question: With Facebook recruiting top engineer and marketing talent in New York like never before, where does that leave Foursquare, Kickstarter, and other Silicon Alley start-ups?
Probably on their toes.
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Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.
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