Facebook is building a global brand partner team for Atlas to amplify its 'cross screen' message

Facebook is pushing forward a “global brand partner” team to help promote its ad serving offering Atlas, as it goes to market with Forrester research demonstrating that over a billion people log-in to the social network across a number of devices every 90 days.

Facebook began the rollout of Atlas in earnest last year (after purchasing the ad serving offering in 2013) and is now assembling a global brand partner team that will span the globe having just made key appointments in Europe, and the U.S. with similar plans to make such hires in APAC.

Speaking with The Drum, Damian Burns, who heads up global sales of Atlas at Facebook, said he was in the process of assembling such a team having just appointed a Global Brand Partner, Atlas, to be based in London and that similar roles across the globe would follow.

He was unable to share the name of the new recruit, although a job ad, recently posted on LinkedIn, stipulates that any applicant for the role would require “extensive experience” in the ad tech space with a proven track record of achieving “aggressive growth” strategies. Ads for similar roles in APAC are currently live.

“We’re hiring a team in Europe and the U.S., which speaks a lot to the fact that this is a long haul,” said Burns, adding that the high profile of the appointees that he has made in the past (such as Andy Mihalop, etc.) speak to social network’s level of the ambition for Atlas.

With Atlas, Facebook is looking to take on Google’s ad stack, which currently dominates the market, but Burns is confident that the social network’s offering will gain traction in the market.

“Atlas is a completely new currency,” he said, pointing out the superior (in his opinion) measurement capabilities of Atlas compared to cookie-centric offerings of the past, and highlighting that it can also help brands measure the effectiveness of their advertising in an off-line setting.

This tallies with Facebook’s ‘person centric’ marketing mantra, a message that highlights how people now make their considered purchase decisions online across a number of screens, therefore making it difficult for marketers to measure the effectiveness of their online advertising. However, if they use a Facebook ID (which is persistent across devices and web browsers) to measure the effectiveness of their ads (available with Atlas) then they can do so more accurately, according to the social network.

To help prove this, Facebook has just released research demonstrating that 1.1 billion people now log in to the social network across a number of different environments over a 90-day period, and that marketers are not-confident in many of the cross-device tools that are available to them. In the UK this number is 31 million, and in the U.S. this number is 155 million, added Burns.

The survey found that only 46 per cent reported confidence in their companies’ abilities to serve the right message on the right device, while 20 per cent said they were very confident. Meanwhile, even fewer (39 per cent) have confidence in their measurement of cross-device conversions, only 14 per cent very confident.

“Half of all people use three of more screens now [on a regular basis], and if you are using a cookie-centric server, then you’re not going to be able to measure that,” added Burns.

As part of the roll out Facebook is ‘onboarding’ Atlas with a number of clients and putting it head-to-head with their existing technologies to help advertisers see how it compares. “Watch this space, “said Burns. “This helps redefine what brand advertising is… The iPhone [and its ensuing popularity] help break the existing cookie-centric model.”

The research also contains case studies from a multitude of brands including Mini , Toyota, and BPCE.