LONDON: The art of brand management is experiencing a "renaissance" thanks to a creative combination of social and data, a leading digital industry figure has said.

Rob Newlan, head of Facebook's EMEA creative shop, told Marketing Week that over the past two years he had seen major changes in how brands were using the social networking platform.

"In data we are seeing the renaissance of the brand manager who wants to be all over data because of what it provides but with respect to people's time and personal space," he explained.

In addition, the social budget was no longer being regarded as separate, often experimental, but rather as an integral part of campaigns. This trend had led to more creative and better quality marketing, Newlan said.

One example offered was that of Ford's European launch of its Eco Sport SUV, which took place exclusively on Facebook and resulted in all 500 cars being sold within three weeks. News Feeds ads directed people to a landing page where they could configure and reserve their car.

But Newlan rejected the idea that there was a "blueprint for creativity" on Facebook. "Sometimes it's about taking an exciting piece of data and a micro-insight and using sophisticated targeting as a creative launchpad," he said.

"As people get more and more comfortable in formats and experimenting and using other targeting and insights we will see more and more examples," he added.

The problems facing brand managers were outlined recently by Gib Bassett, global program director for consumer goods at Teradata Corporation.

Writing in MediaPost, Bassett noted that they now had to work alongside a plethora of other functions – digital marketers, shopper marketers, customer marketers, social media specialists, e-commerce operations, analytics professionals and a confusing ecosystem of services companies – in order to execute a complex marketing plan.

He pointed out that a handful of giant companies owned a large number of brands and few were taking a cross-brand view of consumer engagement. Worse, brand marketers within the same CPG company were competing among themselves for the attention of consumers.

As a result, there was frequent mis-targeting of communications, leading to consumers becoming annoyed and cutting their links to the offending brands.

A cross-brand view of interactions would help individual brands better meet their consumers' expectations, Bassett argued.

Data sourced from Marketing Week, MediaPost; additional content by Warc staff