It’s been close to 10 months since Siddharth Banerjee took on the role of Director, Global Sales Organisation, Facebook India, a journey that he describes as exciting with a steep learning curve. Here, Banerjee talks at length about Facebook’s FMCG toolkit, the advantages it offers advertisers, the success of the Thumbstoppers initiative, challenges from e-commerce platforms and more…
On the journey as Director, Global Sales Organisation at Facebook India so far
It’s been an exciting and also extremely hectic first couple of quarters at Facebook. It’s also been a very steep learning curve in an exciting digital business environment in India. So, that has been fantastic. We have a unique opportunity through the Facebook family of apps – Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp - to participate as an ally of business and as an ally of India. With my team, we have been able to offer our clients innovative solutions that have yielded tremendous results in terms of business outcome. So, that’s been intensely gratifying too.
On what advertisers can expect from Facebook’s FMCG toolkit
While Facebook has solutions across different industries and verticals, the reason we have started talking about the FMCG toolkit is because (apart from the fact that I come from that world having worked with Unilever for many years), a good 30% of the AdEx in India is from FMCG. So we need to offer FMCG advertisers solutions that can make them competitive in the market, and give them results they can be happy about. Our FMCG toolkit is essentially built on three pillars, the first of which is creativity on mobile, something demonstrated in our Thumbstoppers initiative. The second is real-time dynamic measurement, something that is very important to FMCG players since they place a great deal of emphasis on consumer research and measurable brand and business outcomes. Therefore, we offer something called Customised Mix Modeling (CMM) that Nielsen has worked with, which we have supported. The third part of the toolkit is what we call ‘Media Planning 2.0’, which is ideal in a fragmented media environment. This is where we offer FMCG players a fantastic amount of reach, engagement and excellent business results, built on full funnel solutions that Facebook delivers.
On the Facebook Thumbstoppers Initiative
One of the cornerstones of my belief is that we will be able to influence the Digital environment in India for the better if we form partnerships and alliances. Therefore, the Thumbstoppers effort is essentially built on partnering with the creative and the media ecosystem in India. Over the last three quarters, we have trained over 1,000 creative leaders from 56 creative agencies. The Thumbstoppers challenge is our call to agency partners as well as to brand owners, and we have got a fantastic response from the media and creative ecosystem in the country.
On the challenge posed by growing advertiser interest in e-commerce platforms
Like any consumer-obsessed organization, we are constantly figuring out where we can add value. And we are confident that we are able to add value using our full funnel solutions, our deep relationships and our understanding of the business problems of our e-commerce clients.
WHAT IS FACEBOOK THUMBSTOPPERS?
Thumbstoppers, launched in May, 2019 is an initiative from Facebook that encourages the advertising and marketing fraternity to create short-form mobile video ads that are built for the medium rather than adapted from other formats. These are films that can ‘stop thumbs from scrolling’ with the potential of changing human behaviour in less than 10 seconds.
WHAT IS THE FACEBOOK FMCG TOOLKIT?
Facebook’s FMCG toolkit for the marketer in the Digital age operates on three pillars:
CREATIVITY IN MOBILE: Facebook’s recent Thumbstoppers initiative is one of the ways in which it is building mobile creativity across the ecosystem. It explores dialogue and skilling for creative agencies, and inspiration and activation for brands.
MEASUREMENT: Nielsen India launched Custom Mix Modeling (CMM) earlier this year in India, currently being piloted by Facebook. CMM helps FMCG marketers with insights at multiple levels on a medium that is today almost 20% of the total media portfolio.
MEDIA PLANNING: Facebook has conducted a range of studies to help FMCG brands understand how TV and digital campaigns can complement each other, thereby improving total campaign reach performance.