Facebook has formed a 12-member client council that will give the social network input on advertising and marketing. The invitation-only group, which was announced at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity, will consist of agency leaders as well as Facebook's biggest global clients. The members will rotate yearly in order to give different companies a chance to influence Facebook's various ad offerings.
"We need a way for the clients to have a formal mechanism to give us input," Carolyn Everson, Facebook VP of Global Ad Sales, said during her Cannes keynote according to Ad Age. "So we can learn from them and so they can get a glimpse of what we're doing ahead of the general public. I would expect an actual dialogue where we bring our engineering team and our marketing team in and get feedback directly. It's important to get kickback from the market. I'm interested in having us solve our clients' problems and how to help make their business more social at the core."
Everson expects the council to hold confidential meetings four times a year at industry events. The first meeting is planned for the Association of National Advertisers' confab in October. Two of the first 12 members are Nick Brien, CEO of McCann Worldgroup, and Wendy Clark, Coca-Cola's head of integrated marketing and communications.
Advertisers will be able to discuss their mutual interests and figure out how they can work together to better monetize social media. They may also have the option of comparing results of their different social media attempts, not just against themselves, but against other advertisers.
Major clients could see Facebook's ad products as they are developed. Facebook, in turn, gains by learning what it can do to improve advertising on its platform. In terms of revenue, Facebook is like Google: it makes the majority of its money from ads, and it needs to watch that ball closely if it's going to be profitable.