Facebook® announced the new Facebook Marketing Partner program on February 17th, 2015. With this announcement, Facebook is striving to keep the partner ecosystem healthy and offer advertisers more guidance and clarity about which partner best meets their business objectives. Historically, one of the challenges facing marketers who work with companies in the PMD & sPMD programs is finding the right provider without having to commit time and resources to various “bake-offs” and continuous rounds of RFPs. Today’s announcement helps to reduce the noise marketers have to sift through before choosing the right partner.
To give today’s news more historical context, let’s look back to see how far we’ve come:
As we reflect on this five-year journey, here are six predictions and conclusions on what marketers and partners Partners can expect from the program’s next chapter.
- Partner vertical segmentation: this approach will enable marketers to access even more customized and value-adding technology and services, which will improve their ability to scale business objectives on Facebook.
- Clearer sales narrative and streamlined RFP processes: there is no longer room for partners Partners to be everything to everyone. If you’ve recently been a part of a marketer’s PMD RFP process, this change will be welcome news for everyone involved.
- In-house marketing isn’t a trend, it’s the new reality: if 2014 was any signal to the market, it’s clear that the trend of marketers taking full control of their digital ad spend and bringing operations in-house is now the new reality. In some industry circles today there is the notion that partners can take a “set it & forget it” approach to service simply because they offer great software. As the in-house marketer movement matures we expect the partners who pair great service with their world-class software to become the true leaders of the pack.
- Video is the next big frontier: the cable and broadcast TV viewing habits of North American millennials tells us what we need to know about the future of traditional TV. It’s pretty clear to marketers that digital video advertising is the next big opportunity and partners that have the software and support to service this specialty are going to come out on top.
- Geographic reach matters: in today’s ecosystem, there’s never been a bigger advantage and onus on expanding your partner footprint globally. As Facebook’s business opens up to new international markets, the biggest areas for growth will be from overseas markets.
- Best-in-class wins: with more partner competition comes a greater need to innovate in order to remain at the head of the pack.
All of that being said, we still hear from marketers who are asking questions like:
- “Why does Facebook have this program when it has its own ad buying tools and sales teams?”
- “What’s the point of having a third-party ecosystem when Facebook’s native tools are free?”
To properly address these concerns—and sticking with the theme of retrospective analysis—we’ve put together our interpretation of the raison d’etre for Facebook to have such a robust and broad partner ecosystem.
Looking at this Venn diagram, it’s clear that the partners continuing to operate in the “parity” sections are going to have a more challenging time differentiating and scaling their businesses. The key? There isn’t enough value generated above and beyond what Facebook offers natively. Where the real fun begins is in the “value-adding” sections of the diagram where the best–in-class partners are operating by offering truly unique software products, top-tier “executional” service and international in-market support.
AdParlor’s Official Designations
This takes us to the final part of today’s announcement, and that’s where AdParlor is headed in 2015. Today we’re excited to announce our official designations with the new Marketing Partner Program.
- Ad Technology
- Media Buying
- Consumer Packaged Goods
- United States
- United Kingdom
- Verticalized products: the AdParlor platform has never offered a wider array of verticalized products, and we plan to expand this even more this year. Below are just a few examples of the cool new products we released in 2014 that speak to this trend:
- Retail: real-time engagement campaign notifications
- Travel: weather-based ad scheduling
- Gaming: downstream in-app action and value reporting
- eCommerce: cost-per-order budget automation
- CPG: creative insights reporting Read More
- Technology: re-usable audience libraries
- Geographic reach: after being acquired by Adknowledge back in 2011, one of the biggest benefits of having a large, successful parent company is the ability to expand globally. This year, we have set our sights on Asia as our next big area of growth with a recently announced joint venture with Axiata, a leading Asian telecom company. The agreement will offer Adknowledge the ability to scale quickly throughout the APAC region, with AdParlor’s products being a main selling point.
- Software matters: as the in-house marketing movement picks up speed in 2015, AdParlor is proud to be a true software partner. It’s become too easy in ad tech today for companies to throw around buzzwords like “platform” and “technology” but not have a true software system to back it up. At AdParlor, we see ourselves as a “design and engineering” company first; building great software and designing a fluid user experience has become not just a part of our sales pitch, but also the building blocks of our culture.
- Video is Exploding: Facebook has clearly gotten the attention of Google. While YouTube has ruled the online video space for years, Facebook has quickly built its video capabilities and is challenging YouTube’s supremacy. In the 2015 Super Bowl, 25% of Super Bowl ads were viewed on Facebook, while last year they only accounted for 1% (not a typo). So yah Video is going to be a big area of focus.
- Great service: this is table stakes in today’s partner ecosystem; without it, you are toast. That’s why we pride ourselves on running one of the program’s hardest working and most customer-centric account groups. We expect 2015 to be another year where the partners who take a “set it & forget it” approach to lose out. For AdParlor we plan to doubledown on our customer centric approach because at the end of the day if you as a marketer don’t reach your business goals, nobody wins.
This is an an exciting time here at AdParlor. It starts a new chapter in our company’s five-year history with Facebook and the ever-evolving and growing partner ecosystem. In the ad tech business, we have to embrace change. Once again at AdParlor, we’re doing just that.
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