ORLANDO, FL: Brands which find ways to leverage messaging apps and services can effectively tap into the burgeoning consumer demand for immediacy, expression and immersion, a leading executive from Facebook has argued.

Michelle Klein, Head of Marketing/North America at Facebook, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers' (ANA) 2016 Masters of Marketing Conference.

"We live in a world where people are becoming more high-maintenance. They want stuff now – on-demand, real time and always on," she said. (For more, read Warc's exclusive report: How Facebook stays one step ahead of engagement technologies.)

One piece of evidence supporting this claim, she suggested, was the "huge rise in the use of messenger apps", with six of the ten most downloaded applications worldwide coming from that category.

In this context, Klein continued: "The best technology needs to be immediate. It needs to be expressive. And it needs to be deeply immersive."

Tools like WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook and boasts more than a billion users around the world, illustrate the consumer passion for such offerings.

Klein also suggested that brand custodians "look no further than parts of Asia" to see how the extensive functionality available on tools like WeChat and Line mean people are "using their apps to get everything done".

The strengths of messaging translate directly onto Facebook's own platform, too. "A billion messages are sent between people and businesses through Facebook Pages every month," Klein said.

"So if you're a small business, this presents a whole new opportunity in how you can connect with your customers in a one-to-one way", and in "how you can drive local awareness and drive footfall into your store," she added.

"If you're a big business, you might want to start thinking about what this means to the future of your CRM [customer relationship management] strategy – how you can reach people in a scalable, real-time way that still feels personal and connected."

Data sourced from Warc