An interview with Craig Evans after his attendance at the recent Facebook Agency DayBy Victoria Price
Craig, you recently attended an agency day at Facebook, firstly, what is an agency day and why did you choose to take the team?
Our paid social spend as an agency has been growing rapidly over the past couple of years, and because of this we’ve qualified for a new growth programme that Facebook have built. This involves one-to-one account manager support, access to new products and invitations to events. One of which is an Agency Day, where they pull people from across the business to talk to the selected agencies within the programme regarding best practices, new upcoming products, strategic thinking etc.
We felt it was a great opportunity for the team to get access to some of the brightest minds in the industry and pick their brains as to how we could advance our offering and deliver accelerated performance for our clients.
What was the biggest thing that you took from the event?
The so called ‘year of mobile’ was a long time ago now, but the insatiable growth within smartphone usage keeps on coming with no sign of abating. In its current guise 50% of digital purchases come from mobile and this is only set to rise as devices continue to become more powerful.
How do you think what you learnt at the event will change how you deliver results for clients?
What became apparent throughout the session is that automation is likely to play an ever-increasing role in micro-optimisation and remove a lot of the heavy lifting from our Activation Team.
AI and machine learning have been talked about for a number of years now, but it looks set to free up our traders to focus more on innovation, smarter strategic thinking and testing, rather than the day to day requirements of small-scale optimisations.
Looking at the topic list there was a range of speakers, who stood out for you and why?
The fireside chat with Ben Wood, Facebook’s Director of Agencies for EMEA was interesting. He touched on a range of subjects from the direction of Facebook as a business, to the client-agency relationship and even across what kind of business he would set up right now.... (it was an in-housing consultancy).
You never really know what to expect from someone in such a high-profile role, but that aspect didn’t disappoint.
Can you give us any insights about the future of Facebook advertising?
From what we heard it looks like a big focus for Facebook over the next 12 months is going to be shortening the path to conversion.
All research data points to the fact that consumers drop out of the funnel quickly. It’s vital the checkout/conversion process is straight forward and streamlined as much as possible. I'm expecting Facebook to have a few ideas in this area, so don’t be surprised if we begin to see some real innovation over the next few months!