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.