Advertising Week Q&A with Facebook Blueprint Director, Amy Brooks

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Ahead of Advertising Week New York next week, the AW360 team had a chance to sit down and chat with Amy Brooks, Director, Partner Training & Certification at Facebook.

Q: What led FB to create Blueprint, and what is the problem it is looking to solve?
A: The Facebook platform offers a unique space for advertisers to reach their audiences. That space comes with a need for new skills and knowledge. We feel it is our responsibility to help our advertisers make and execute successful advertising campaigns on our platform, to give them a Blueprint for turning good ideas into great opportunities.  Facebook Blueprint was created to do just that.

Q: In your view, what are the most important skills going to be in the future?
A: Without question, digital skills. I have lost count of the number of articles I have read in both trade and mainstream publications that highlight that an understanding of the digital landscape is no longer an optional skill set.  For job seekers especially, this is critical; digital skills are no longer just “recommended”, they’re now “required.” For agencies, hiring top talent involves hiring those that understand how content must be designed and developed across multiple media. These and other similar insights inspired us to create free online training in digital skills for Facebook.

Q: Brand decision-making is being increasingly complicated by the temptation to focus on short term marketing strategies – do initiatives like FB Blueprint help that, how so?
A: Facebook Blueprint definitely helps. Both Facebook and Instagram allow you to hyper-target audiences and engage with them over time, to bring them on a journey alongside your brand.  Our courses and content map to that journey, from awareness to action. What has been especially exciting to witness is the increasing use of Stories – there are components of interactivity that have not previously been available to Brand advertisers, like message sequencing and polls.

Q: Blueprint seems to be empowering brand partners through data and creativity, what considerations are taken into account before the creation of courses?
A: Facebook is a metrics-oriented company, and the Blueprint program has been built in alignment with that value. An example of a data point we look at when building new courses is which Help Center articles have the highest volume – that helps us to glean where users need more guidance. Then there are opportunity-based courses – courses on new products or solutions that we want to ensure advertisers are aware of so that they make the best choices for themselves and their clients.

Q: When you get stuck, how do you get unstuck – do you have any strategies or ways of doing so you could share?
A: I am blessed to work with really interesting and inspiring people. A good brainstorm or working session can go a long way. I find collaboration with those around me incredibly motivating.

Q: What courses are available, and who are the courses most appropriate for?
A: Blueprint provides a wide range of video lessons and courses, covering introductory topics like how to set up your very first business page or how to measure campaign performance, to more advanced topics like advanced targeting and  implementing a pixel. Our courses are designed to inform a wide range of audiences including small business owners, the media and creative agency communities, developers, university professors and students, non-profits, and digital non-natives. We know how precious time is for all of our advertisers, so we’ve designed our courses to be bite-sized (most take 15 minutes or less), the kind of information you can digest during a commute or a quick coffee break.

Q: Explain the Certifications Blueprint offers and why they’re important?
A:  Blueprint Certifications recognize advanced-level competencies on our family of apps and services. Advertisers can tangibly demonstrate their expertise on our products and platforms and stand out as Certified professionals. We made a conscious decision to build a high-stakes program with integrity at its core. Our Certifications are psychometrically sound, legally defensible and delivered in a secure, proctored environment.  We take pride in knowing that agencies can see a Facebook Blueprint Certification digital badge on a resume and know that person is qualified.

Q: Best FB ad you’ve ever seen…
A: Oh! Great question! Hard to name just one, but I can say that the Facebook ads that really get my attention are those that use dynamic imagery and motion to break through the “fourth wall.”  As a consumer, I find punchy, brand-forward video ads to be thumb-stopping, and as an advertiser I’m always keeping an eye out for creative uses of our tools and platform.

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