Optimal takes grand prize in Facebook’s PMD Innovation Competition

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Facebook has announced the latest winners of its twice-annual Preferred Marketing Developer Innovation Competition, with Optimal (PMD in ads, apps, insights) taking home the grand prize.

Optimal’s winning entry in the PMD Innovation Competition — Open Signals — allows advertisers to link data APIs and feeds to their Facebook ad campaigns, including in-store inventory levels, store traffic, weather conditions, coupon redemptions and TV spots.

Facebook offered some examples of what Open Signals can do, such as sync the display of movie trailers on Facebook to within 2 seconds of starting on TV, and running Facebook ads near a store’s location if foot traffic declines.

Optimal Founder and CEO Rob Leathern commented on the company’s achievement in a blog post:

Facebook is already delivering great direct response performance for large advertisers across both mobile and desktop, largely on the back of its News Feed advertising. Facebook challenged us to further leverage our real-time and API integration capabilities to help advertisers better synchronize their advertising with the metrics and events that matter to them. Harnessing everything from TV ad data to weather to store traffic data, we believe this award helps validate Optimal’s position as the global leader in social advertising.

Other winners:

BLiNQ — BLiNQ Media’s Local LiFT aims to tie personalized Facebook content and local commerce to create a scalable targeting solution that serves consumers with highly relevant, real-time promotions.

Luis Caballero, CEO of BLiNQ Media, discussed the award with Inside Facebook:

The social marketing industry is ripe with innovation, and we are honored to be recognized by Facebook for such a prestigious award. Through our new Local LiFT product, BLiNQ Media has solved the transformation of social content into local commerce at scale, across channel, format and screen.

Kenshoo — Kenshoo Social’s Demand-Driven Campaigns integrate with inventory systems and the Google Merchant Center catalogs to create dynamic ads from images and attributes such as brand, color, price and inventory levels.

Kenshoo’s Senior Director of Product Marketing, Todd Herrold, described Demand-Driven Campaigns in a blog post:

We’re thrilled to be among the select few recognized as leading innovators among a highly competitive and qualified field that included more than 60 participants.

So why’d they choose Kenshoo Social and DDC? Well, we’d like to think it was an easy choice. :-)

DDC enables advertisers to leverage Facebook as an always-on ad channel. DDC automatically creates and manages product-specific advertising on Facebook based on demand signals of top performing products from marketers’ internal systems, Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns, general paid search efforts and other sources. By integrating with inventory systems and Google Merchant Center catalogs, DDC automatically creates dynamic product ads from images and attributes. DDC then leverages data and demand signals from Product Listing Ad (PLA) campaigns, complementary paid search efforts and other sources to quickly identify the top performing or trending products to advertise.

Maverick — Maverick is an automated marketing platform that plans, creates and executes result-based, micro-budget, marketing campaigns for small businesses, for a fraction of the cost of a full service agency. The entire marketing cycle, from concept to sale to retention, is done by the platform, automatically and autonomously including setup, execution, copy and graphics.

Facebook explained why Maverick is effective:

  • Marketers with as little as $100 of monthly online marketing budget can now launch a full marketing campaign that includes Facebook advertising, Email marketing, Facebook posting, page apps (as conversion units), follow-up lead nurturing and customer loyalty marketing.
  • Maverick analyses the marketer’s profile to create a 12-month personalized marketing program including 50 campaigns and many loyalty activities.
  • Maverick forecasts the resulting leads and fans for each campaign, providing marketers with clear ROI before investing in the campaign.

Salesforce + ExactTarget — ExactTarget Active Audiences from the Salesforce Marketing Cloud combines ExactTarget’s email marketing capabilities with social advertising by Social.com.

Scott McCorkle, president of technology and strategy, Salesforce ExactTarget Marketing Cloud, discussed the award in a press release:

In today’s connected world, customers are moving effortlessly between marketing channels to interact with brands before, during and after the buying process. Active Audiences will enable marketers to connect with their customers in new ways by optimizing Facebook ad campaigns based on customer interactions.

SocialWire — Dynamic Product Ads, from SocialWire, are a feed-based ad platform for promoting individual SKUs.

SocialWire thanked Facebook for the recognition in a company blog post:

We are thrilled about this recognition.  Our true validation has come from seeing some of the world’s largest e-commerce companies signing up to run evergreen campaigns with SocialWire, but the recognition from Facebook tells us that we share a vision for making social advertising more automated and predictable.  Thanks Facebook for the kudos.

For more detailed information about winners, click here.

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