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Future Market Leader Interview - 5 minutes with...

Louise Gregersen

‎Country Marketing Manager, Nordics at Facebook

creativebrief: How has your career path led you to marketing at Facebook?

Louise Gregersen: I was studying a masters at the IT University in Copenhagen when I applied for an Account Manager role at Facebook back in 2011. I had been working in the digital marketing space since 2009, and even though I had studied marketing for several years prior, the endless opportunities within digital marketing specifically have just always fascinated me.

When I applied, I had a great job at Digital Works, I was loving my studies and lived in Copenhagen with my boyfriend (now husband) – so when I sent my resume to Facebook, I wasn’t looking for a job and I only applied because it was a dream job. I didn’t think I would get it, but after several rounds of interviews, I was offered the role and I ended up moving to Dublin in early 2012.

Facebook has an internal exchange programme (Facebook cultural exchange) that I applied for and this led me to our Global Business Marketing department, which I joined in 2014. Here I am responsible for the Nordic region.

creativebrief: Why did you choose a career in marketing?

Louise Gregersen: I think marketing is powerful. Done right, it will move perceptions of products, concepts and brands. And it’s entertaining as hell – again, if it’s done right. I remember watching ads on the TV when I was a child and to this day I remember the melodies and lyrics of certain brands – if that’s not powerful, I don’t know what is, and today the opportunities to truly connect with your consumers are endless.

creativebrief: What do you think makes a successful career in marketing?

Louise Gregersen: Success is individual, but for me there are two parts to it: 

  • That you constantly seek out and pursue opportunities to become better. You are at the steering wheel of your career, no one else.
  • That you dare to go for the creative, inspiring, impactful but often at times also most challenging ideas and concepts. In marketing you have a great responsibility to represent your brand, and that demands that you are a good listener – to everyone in your organisation and most importantly to your consumers.

I feel lucky to work for a company whose culture allows me to think in this way. It has shown me that trying, sometimes failing, and learning is a process that we all need to go through to get better. One of my favourite mantras that really captures this culture – and one we have displayed on posters around our offices – is “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

creativebrief: What do you think are the main challenges facing marketers today?

Louise Gregersen: Definitely the complexity of the marketing and media landscape, which has been transformed by mobile technology and the move from text to visual communications. Doing great and holistic media planning can be extremely challenging especially when communications, creative, marketing, and sales are still in siloes. Add to that, that people have very high expectations of content today and you need to be relevant and valuable to have an impact. That means you must know how and where your consumers spend their time and how to break through the noise.

As an example, you have 1.7 seconds to capture people’s attention before they scroll on in their mobile feed. So not only have technologies provided great opportunities, but they bring along a set of challenges that we as marketers must understand to be impactful. This is where you really need to work with your creative teams to let ideas be born to be executed in new ways.

creativebrief: How do you keep up with the constant stream of innovation in mobile technology?

Louise Gregersen: At Facebook, I am smack in the middle of it and we develop a lot of innovation ourselves (messenger bots, Live, Stories etc.). I think it’s essential to keep yourself informed through tech news, blogs and a solid network. But to be honest, if you are a young marketer, this will be natural to you anyway. Understanding and keeping up with opportunities within traditional marketing channels like TV, print and outdoor is harder, but also essential and will make you a better marketer.

creativebrief: How do you know if you're getting the best from your agencies?

Louise Gregersen: You get what you brief, right? During one of the boot camps with the marketing academy, we discussed how to be a good client. This really spoke to me and I believe that if I focus on being my agencies’ best client, they will in turn treat me like I am. 

My agency is my team and I can only expect to get their best if I give clear briefs and listen to them. They are much better at what they do than I am. That’s why I hired them. It’s a strength to trust your agency, then you can focus on the high level.

creativebrief: Of your recent work, what makes you particularly proud and why?

Louise Gregersen : My Visual First campaign that I ran in Q4 last year. We live in a world of visual communications and – thanks to rapid advancements in mobile technology - people are finding new ways to express themselves and to interact with brands. Think about how many emojis, gifs, stories, memes or even videos that you have used to communicate lately. Probably without even thinking of it.

In the Nordic region we needed to get brands thinking about this and how they could really reach their consumers through visual communications. We ran a large campaign across three markets last year that focused on speaking the language of the consumer, mainly through video. Part of the campaign used mobile video in NewsFeed and I’m super proud that we exceeded our goals in all three markets. One of the videos we created for the wider campaign was this case about how Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Petter Varner’s brand, A-Z, launched their retail line using Facebook Live.

creativebrief: How do you think marketers can raise the profile of marketing within their organisations?

Louise Gregersen : Start by understanding and speaking the language of those around you. The marketing department is not on it’s own mission, so making sure you understand Sales, Corporate Communications, Creative and get them excited about what you can accomplish together.

creativebrief: Do you see yourself as a generalist or a specialist, does it matter?

Louise Gregersen : I think it matters to know what your strengths are, but still have a general understanding beyond your field. I do see myself as a specialist within online marketing, but my work and responsibilities stretch quite far beyond that. That’s why I’m grateful to work with a talented global marketing team and an awesome agency.

About the author

Ben Somerset-How, Client Director

Ben heads-up the brand focused business development team which sees him dedicate time to engaging both new and existing clients of Creativebrief. He is also the driving force behind our Market Leader Interview series and regularly guest-lectures at a variety of university marketing & management courses.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/ben-somerset-how-2a3697a