Company believes proven results will drive marketing budgets towards its platform
In 2009, Facebook gave its partners greater access through APIs and has since seen marketers develop a range of tools to help accurately pitch, as they put it, ‘preferred’ marketing strategies to its billion or so users worldwide.
The Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) programme was launched as a community of hundreds of technology companies spread across more than 45 countries.
PMDs are social experts at the forefront of helping marketers and advertisers establish and grow lasting connections with customers. It builds apps on Facebook, optimises social plugins, manages ad campaigns, measures performance and develops effective marketing strategies for Facebook.
“However, it’s been in the past 12 months where the programme itself has come together,” says Chris Small, Facebook’s PMD’s regional manager. “We’ve now identified who are the best at what they do – and that’s what a PMD is – the guys who are the best at building tools for marketing on Facebook.”
Speaking to AMEinfo at a recent workshop for PMDs and clients in Dubai, Small described the advertising platform as a ‘no brainer’ for anyone who needs to see conversions.
“One of the step changes you see across the board and in this region is that results are driving the reason why people are allocating more and more of their budgets to Facebook. There are so many proof points now that it becomes a bit of a no-brainer,” says Small.
There are a couple of hundred or so developers in the PMD programme, but when you’re talking specifically about advertising PMDs, there are only 40 worldwide – ie 40 people who are creating tools to run ads on Facebook and who are recognised by Facebook as preferred marketing developers.
Facebook’s head of MEA operations, Jonathan Labin, offers his perspective on the network’s booming advertising potential.
“If I compare today to one year ago, conversations have changed,” says Labin. “It’s all about business results. We opened our office last May and now we can comfortably say that ‘we know we can help you sell more products and grow your business’, because we know that performance marketing works.”
However, who’s running with this? ‘Performance marketers’ includes guys who run e-commerce, travel and classified sites – there are all sorts of clients Facebook has worked with so far. So, it’s not just small, nimble start-ups, some are very big companies with very big budgets.
If you move outside of this region, you could put any ‘number of big names’ out there who are seeing results from ‘performance marketing’, according to Small, who remain tight-lipped on specific figures in the region.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that it’s just entrepreneurial types, but just anyone who needs to see conversions. Today, they might be doing this offline with direct response from TV, they might be running Google and so on. However, more and more are moving budgets to Facebook,” he adds.
“From a PMD perspective, the only reason [clients] use the platform is because they see a real impact on sales. They run the ads, they sell the shoes. We’ve built products that help them to see that flow, whether its measurement or tracking. We have partners that take that functionality and turn it into a sophisticated but easy-to-use performance marketing tool,” says Small.
A simple way to think about it is that if you run a direct response TV ad on a Monday and get a good response, you might just end up running the same ad to the same people on Tuesday. So, there’s a whole group of audience that you don’t need to target anymore. With ‘custom audiences’ you take out all respondents automatically.
Highly targeted, highly invasive?
In response to the issue of privacy and growing volume of data that the world’s largest social network holds on all of its users, Labin says that there is no cause for concern at all.
“I think what we have to be really careful about is never sharing individuals’ data,” he says.
“No one’s personal data is shared, it’s always based on aggregated data – that’s really important. We’re really careful about that. The other key thing for me is that I believe if you’re targeting people the right way, it’s possible to make advertising interesting and good.
“If you actually want to go on a holiday next week and you actually see an offer for a great holiday destination, then it’s going to be useful and that’s the end goal,” he concludes.
Sunday, November 17- 2013 @ 13:16 UAE local time (GMT+4) Replication or redistribution in whole or in part is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Mediaquest FZ LLC.