saves the dayMidway through a week of bungled celebrity interviews and
truncated tech seminars, Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg was a
cool, calm and collected drink of water. Speaking passionately
and eloquently to Advertising Age’s Abbey Klaassen, Sandberg
addressed the future of Facebook, the importance of mobile,
and finally the cause closest to her heart; diversity.
She also had a few words to say about her famous boss.
“People underestimate Mark because he’s shy,” she says, “but
he’s actually one of the best listeners in the world. At his core,
he’s an optimist; he believes in the power of individuals.”
mobile!“It’s almost so obvious it’s a cliché now, but mobile is
big,” says Sandberg. “To this day, we systematically
underestimate the transition to mobile.”
Think about it this way: The average smartphone has
a hundred thousand times the computing power of the
computer that sent the first man to the moon in 1969.
“We’re all walking around with a computer this powerful,
and we never put them down! Had Facebook started even
a couple of years later, it would have been mobile first.”
Global marketing on
a personal scale“Mobile is a big opportunity, because marketing can become
personal again,” says Sandberg. “Years ago, my grandfather
owned a paint store; he knew each of his customers, and he
knew what colour their house was.” Mobile holds the key,
she believes, to making consumers feel valued again.
“What’s so important about this audience is that it happens
through great creative. What makes something that’s
actually not just produced for you, feel like it’s just for you,
is achieved through great creative and great targeting.”
Bringing the world
togetherSandberg says that one of her most surprising
discoveries at Facebook was cultural. “Originally, we
thought that we’d have to localise by market,” she says,
“but actually we localise by individual. Each profile
is different; each user has a unique experience.”
Abbey Klaassen remarked that Facebook has reduced the
anonymity of the web, and that a Facebook account now
essentially functions as a universal form of identification.
“Real identity is an incredibly powerful force for good,”
says Sandberg. “It’s all about transparency and control.”
Changing the world
how we see itSandberg is keen for people to realise that Lean In’s recent collaboration
with Getty Images isn’t just about breaking out of the tiresome
photographic clichés surrounding working mothers. It’s equally
important, she believes, to have imagery that portrays men cooking
dinner for their families and being affectionate with their children.
“Every picture tells a story, and sends a message,” she says.
And next time you hear somebody call a little girl bossy, Sandberg
knows exactly what you should do. “Go up to them and say; that little
girl is not bossy. That little girl has executive leadership skills.”