The UK board is the social network’s first attempt to address the specific needs of marketers in any one territory. A global client council was setup two years ago.
Facebook says the UK market has several nuances that need addressing such as the already “strong relationship” between Facebook and brands and agencies. It also believes the territory’s brands traditionally invest in more direct response rather than branding campaigns on the site.
The Board, which counts Coca-Cola GB’s general manager Jon Woods and Tesco CMO Matt Atkinson among its members (see graphic below for all members) will meet every quarter to provide feedback on how Facebook should launch new advertising products, discuss its levels of service to brands and agencies and give input about how the company is perceived in the marketplace.
Board members will benefit from seeing Facebook’s product roadmap ahead of time and have access to senior executives from its Menlo Park headquarters.
Carolyn Everson, Facebook’s vice president of global marketing solutions, told Marketing Week the goal of the advisory board is to make Facebook a better marketing partner for the entire UK marketing industry and move discussions about the site “out of social media and digital conversations” .
She added: “This is an agenda item that should not just be relegated to a social media conversation. We are trying to elevate it to a much higher level to understand the strategic impact of the relationships consumers now have and expect of brands. It’s not about buying impressions and being a bunch of media sellers, the conversations that take place in this Advisory Board will be much more strategic.”
The first topic on the agenda the Board is likely to discuss is UK-centric research to prove the value of Facebook to business’ bottom line. The conversations are likely to lead to a UK version of the company’s partnership with Datalogix, whose research found 70 per cent of Facebook ad campaigns led to 3 times or better return on investment, while almost half (49 per cent) showed a return of five times spend.
Board member Spencer McHugh, EE marketing director, says: “This is a chance to think outside of our day to day and get expertise and suggestions from other categories through a different lens. The appeal is we will have concrete actions taken at the end of our discussions on a big platform like Facebook.”
Facebook has 33 million UK users and earned £259m in revenue from the region in 2012, according to eMarketer estimates.