If there was any doubt that Facebook is the darling of the industry right now, it was eliminated at the ‘Marketing That Connects’ AdWeek session on Tuesday afternoon. Despite one tough question from the audience about customer service and a snarky comment about the so-called Facebook movie, the panelists were rather gushy.
VP of Global Sales Mike Murphy sat down with three agency execs and David Kirkpatrick, author of The Facebook Effect, to discuss how the marketing landscape is changing—and how consumers are in the driver’s seat.
Back in the days of Don Draper, TV changed the way people thought about advertising. But while the TV revolution had lasting effects, it wasn’t participatory; consumers weren’t creating content and they weren’t in control of the message. MySpace and now Facebook have added a fresh territory to the landscape, and it may be opening up an entirely new frontier.
Paul Gunning, CEO of Tribal DDB Worldwide said Facebook has created a massively open canvas. “The rules haven’t been written yet,” he said. “There’s confusion about what’s possible.”
But that can be a good thing. “The rules aren’t so defined that they can’t be broken,” said Gunning.
William Rosen, President and Chief Creative Officer of Arc Worldwide, said the social phenomenon has shifted the power from the media back to the consumer. “It comes down to what people want,” he said. “How do they define value … is it about customization, social good, etc.?” he said.“… brands that are successful on Facebook are letting consumers own the conversation.”
David Shulman, President of Wunderman New York , agreed. “We need to go back to fundamentals of direct marketing,” he said. “Take an active role in driving conversations and listen at times, [then] step back and let it happen.”
Gunning’s team has even shifted their creative strategy to start with social before moving through the traditional ideation process. We focus on ‘what creates shared value?’ from the very beginning, he said.
Murphy agreed that he’s seen this shift in strategy across many of Facebook’s marketer partnerships; Facebook is sitting at the table earlier as a result. “It’s not about taking money away from TV,” he said. It’s about “how do we use all these tools to make TV better, make radio better?”
While it’s hard to deny the power of participatory social media, some would argue that it’s difficult to see a tremendous amount of value around a simple like/dislike button in isolation. How should marketers be using Facebook in combination with other forms of digital media? How does the creative canvas really open up when you combine social with rich contextual environments?
Gunning said he’d like to see as much passion around brands as there is around politics right now. Kirkpatrick agreed—and jumped in to say brands needed more fully formed personalities now than ever before.
What do you think?