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How Facebook's Creative Shop aims to boost marketing ROI

Matt Kapko | March 26, 2015
Facebook has no problem selling ads and encouraging marketers to launch campaigns on its platform, as consistently demonstrated by its financial results. However, the quality of campaigns varies widely. Facebook says it wants to help marketers and brands be more creative and increase the impact of their work by collaborating with a growing team of specialists who work at a special division within the company that's dedicated to this purpose, called Facebook Creative Shop.

Facebook has no problem selling ads and encouraging marketers to launch campaigns on its platform, as consistently demonstrated by its financial results. However, the quality of campaigns varies widely. Facebook says it wants to help marketers and brands be more creative and increase the impact of their work by collaborating with a growing team of specialists who work at a special division within the company that's dedicated to this purpose, called Facebook Creative Shop.

Facebook knows marketers are often confident and competitive, and they don't always welcome outside ideas. They are some of the most creative minds in media today, but Facebook says it is bringing resources and strategies to the table that brands or agencies don't already have.

The company's team of 130 employees spread around 30 global locations wants to make its skills and specific insights available to marketers without coming off like a bunch of know-it-alls. It isn't an easy sell, and some marketers may wonder why they need Facebook's input at all. Facebook is a media and communications company, after all; marketing agencies are the true "creative shops."

"The world of marketing, the world of communication ... the world of advertising, is going through a fundamental shift that's far bigger than Facebook or Instagram," says Mark D'Arcy, Facebook's chief creative officer, who spoke last week during a press event at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. "It's something far bigger than that. What we're trying to do is use creativity so we can put our platforms, and put the way in which we build things for people, in the best possible context for that space."

Facebook embodies morphing media landscape

D'Arcy has led the Creative Shop at Facebook since its inception four years ago, and the team has worked on thousands of campaigns, but he says a lot changed during his time at Facebook.

"We're so used to incrementality in technology or incrementality in human behavior when it comes to marketing, communication and advertising, that the fundamental shift that's going on is so profound it can kind of miss us sometimes," he says.

"We have the ability to connect in real time with the people that we care most about in the world and we now take it for granted," D'Arcy says. "It's a transformational shift."

This massive change impacts marketers because the entire conceit of advertising is to advert attention, according to D'Arcy. "It's right there in the name," he says.

The world of media has changed from one of finite choice — a handful of TV channels and no remote control, for example — to infinite choice. "So we live in a world where everything simultaneously competes with everything, and we see this in our lives every day," D'Arcy says.

 

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