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Facebook Tailoring Ad Products to Industry Areas to Boost Sales

Oct. 3 (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc., seeking to boost sales from business customers, has begun tailoring advertising products to specific industry areas, said Carolyn Everson, the company’s vice president of global marketing solutions.

The company is focusing ad-product design on such markets as autos and telecommunications, Everson said in remarks to reporters yesterday in New York. The company reoriented its sales staff to focus on industries earlier this year, she said.

“The most important thing to do is understand what a marketer wants to achieve and tailor a product to that,” she said. “What an automotive company needs in terms of national brand awareness to launch a car versus how they have to drive people to a dealer, and who the secondary players are in between, those are all very different product solutions.”

Facebook, under scrutiny from investors to boost sales from its more than 950 million users, is offering advertisers a broader range of products to woo marketing dollars away from rivals such as Google Inc. and Yahoo! Inc. The company, which gets about 85 percent of revenue from advertising, said sales growth dropped to 32 percent in the second quarter after expanding 45 percent in the first quarter.

Everson’s remarks yesterday followed a presentation by Facebook Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, who touted the company’s focus on mobile, where users are increasingly accessing the service. Mobile users are 20 percent more likely to come back on a given day, she said.

Mobile is “very much in its infancy,” she said.

The Menlo Park, California-based company rose 1.3 percent to $22.27 at the close yesterday in New York. The shares have fallen 41 percent since the May 17 initial public offering.

The IPO “didn’t go as we expected,” Sandberg said. “We were surprised and disappointed.”

To contact the reporters on this story:

Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net; or Brian Womack in San Francisco at bwomack1@bloomberg.net;

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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