Feasting On Facebook

by , Jan 23, 2013, 8:00 AM
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A few short months ago, Facebook elevated a dozen Preferred Marketing Developers (PMDs) into an elite new class called Strategic PMDs (SPMDs). These folks not only drink the Facebook Kool-Aid, they dispense it without reservation, pouncing on the opportunity like grizzly bears in a salmon run. And despite my growls to the contrary, SPMDs and the companies they work with are more bullish than ever about Facebook’s future. As they see it, Zuckerberg and Company continue to enhance THE social network for both users and advertisers, leading me to these six tasty reasons why marketers will keep feasting in Facebook land.

1. Mouthwatering mobile monetization

One of the big question marks for Facebook when it went public was whether or not it could monetize mobile. Lucy Jacobs, chief operating officer at Spruce Media (a SPMD), remarked: “Facebook is now on track to generate 20% or more of its ad revenue from mobile in Q4 ’12, up from just 3% in Q2 ’12.” Jacobs added: “The performance of mobile has plenty of room to grow, especially for price.”

2. Custom audiences are no mere appetizer

Introduced last fall, custom audiences allow marketers to use their own email lists to serve up their Facebook ads -- an approach that Jacobs called “a game-changer in digital advertising.” “Facebook is the only platform that [now] enables accurate individual targeting on a large scale, shifting Facebook advertising to a very sustainable business model of reach and frequency,” concluded Jacobs.

3. Click-through rates are rising

Defenders of Facebook’s change to its EdgeRank algorithm last year have pointed to the fact that click-through rates (CTRs) are on the rise. Jacobs confirmed this increase, noting: “Mobile newsfeed and desktop CTRs are up 34% and 49%, respectively.” Erica Barth, VP of products and partnerships for Resolution Media, noticed this too, calling Facebook “one of the largest drivers of traffic to a client’s new online product.”

4. Yummier optimization and reporting

By designating a select group of SPMDs, Facebook does not appear to have starved out any of the other major players or decreased their appetite for Facebook. For example, Resolution Media, a digital agency with operations in 40 countries, simply partners with SPMDs “on a self-serve basis, using the SPMDs’ technology platforms to streamline management, optimization and reporting.”

5. Open wide for Open Graph

According to Facebook, “Open Graph helps people tell stories about their lives with the apps they use.” For marketers, Open Graph creates the opportunity to align their “stories” with their targets, increasing the likelihood of positive interactions. Patrick Toland, chief revenue officer of Optimal (another SPMD), believes “this [tactic] is much better than the survey-based data [of other media].”

6. Marketers are eating it up

Jacobs, Barth and Toland all served up satiating case histories, but alas, I can cover only one here. “Using a combination of our analytics and Custom Audiences, we helped a F100 financial services company refine their target demos and increase their fanbase by 350% while lowering costs by 60%,” Toland reported. “More importantly, we found them people who were more likely to be customers,” he concluded.

Final Note: In preparation for our panel discussion on the impact of SPMDs at MediaPost's upcoming Social Media Insider Summit, I was delighted to be able to catch up with Jacobs, Barth and Toland. You can find my complete interviews with them now on TheDrewBlog.com.

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