Industry Profile: Facebook's director of brand Naomi Shepherd

By AdNews | 30 November 2017
Facebook director of brand Naomi Shepherd.

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

Last week we met Sydney-based Integral Ad Science sales director Jessica Miles. This week we are staying in Sydney to catch up with Facebook's director of brand Naomi Shepherd.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

5 years

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Creating new possibilities to build brands on mobile, and being committed to evidence-based marketing.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

The launch of AMBER Alerts in Australia in partnership with state and federal police forces is a proud milestone for Facebook in Australia. As a mother of three children, the opportunity to work for an online platform that has the capability and scale to help find and return abducted children in partnership with law enforcement is something that really stands out for me. 

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Facebook is a mobile company, at times even we are challenged by the pace and scale of innovation in mobile. The opportunity to meet consumers where they are versus where they used to be, is incredibly exciting.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

My career before Facebook was in the radio industry across the UK, the US and Australia.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?

I’m passionate about building things and finding solutions to problems that are innovative and agile, and that has been honed significantly since working for a fast-paced company like Facebook. To me, there is plenty of runway ahead for the advertising industry to be better still at what it does, and I plan to continue to bring a fresh new line of thinking to how we solve for that.

What is the elephant in the room?

The thing that no one is talking about but they should be: As an industry we’re chasing some of the wrong things that don’t drive business outputs in the long term. Every dollar invested in a media channel should be giving marketers a measurable return on the outcomes their businesses care about. Let’s spend the appropriate amount of time measuring for those things first. Also, women on boards. It’s embarrassingly low – let’s fix it.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I can whip up an outfit on my vintage Janome sewing machine in a flash.

Top networking tip:

Be yourself, no one else does it better.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

I’m open to recommendations, I rarely have the opportunity to dine away from my desk or the back of a taxi. 

My favourite advert is:

Like a Girl from the Always brand, P&G. It made me question some of my own biases and change my behavior around my son and my two daughters.

My must-have gadget is:

My iPhone

My favourite media is:

Instagram – especially Stories which I’m getting much better at creating!

My favourite TV show is:

House of Cards, although I’m several seasons behind so I don’t like to tell anyone in case of spoilers

The last book I read:

For myself: The Origins of Ethical Failures by Dennis Gentilin, for my children: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls by Elena Favilli and Francesca Cavallo. 

My mantra/philosophy is:

Never stop learning.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

My dad was broadcaster at Channel Seven, and a radio DJ for 6PR, and got me work experience in both TV and radio from a young age.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:

A midwife.

In five years' time I'll be:

At Facebook, with enough time for a side hustle in something disruptive that fulfills my personal passion points.

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison?

A well-made margarita

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