5 Questions in 5 Minutes With Facebook

Hot on the heels of Facebook’s announcement at Cannes Lions that it will be releasing a new mobile ad format that takes over a screen after a user clicks on it from the news feed, ClickZ sat down with some of the company’s execs to ask them a few questions.  

Present for the chat were: Carolyn Everson (CE), vice president of Global Marketing Solutions, Facebook; Mark D’Arcy (MD), chief creative officer, Facebook; and James Quarles (JQ), director of Monetization, Instagram. 

Earlier this week, Facebook showcased immersive and personalized mobile ad units highlighting the fact that the company is embracing mobile and the opportunities it lends. Are brands following suit?

CE: I think there is still a large gap. 10-12 percent of marketing budgets are being spent on mobile, yet consumers are spending 25 percent of their time on it. We still need to breakdown the structure as an industry and transform it to put the consumer first.

We’re seeing a lot of new interactions on mobile and we’re trying to look at the trends so we can work with the future. Video will be another key to that. Brands love to tell stories that resonate emotionally and videos do just that. For Facebook, Autoplay has really come into its own. Getting a glimpse of what the video is about while scrolling has helped drive a lot of views.

What does it do to consumers when ads they are getting aren’t about them, despite targeted advertising?

CE: It’s a double edged sword. If consumers ignore ads, they’ll get a bad quality of what they see. If they personalize controls – which Facebook allows them to do – they’ll be able to curate ads that they want for a better experience.

Is it the best or worst time to be a marketer?

MD: It’s the best time because we’re working with real data and real people. Data allows for a creative intersect that is at the epicenter of a marketer’s job. But it also gives a lot more exposure if things go wrong.

Are consumers more receptive to visual ads rather than text-based? Do ads on Instagram get better engagement, for example?

JQ: Visual ads definitely resonate well with audiences, especially when influencers are involved. Influencers make brands more accessible/ visual because they belong to the people. But we wouldn’t say that Instagram ads do better than ads on Facebook. Generally it seems that users spend around 41 minutes on Facebook compared to 21 minutes on Instagram, so they both have their different purposes. They usually work well combined across both.

What is the value proposition of Instagram Vs Facebook for marketers?

JQ: Facebook is a personalized newsfeed created by friends. The information on there is very personal and dependent on your close circle of people around you. Instagram on the other hand is follower-based and centered around visually-led inspiration.

Oftentimes what we see, is that a user will see an ad on Instagram and then go to Facebook to see the longer form content. We are trying to build the two on the same ad platform so we will be able to tell these sequential stories in audience targeting and measurement so watch this space.

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