Guest Post: Embracing the Shift to a Partnership Paradigm

greg-1This is a guest post by Greg Lieber, VP of Business Development at SHIFT, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer that offers a collaboration platform for marketers.

Facebook’s updates to the Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) requirements, which put a large emphasis on paid media, will be a huge benefit to both developers and marketers alike.

These changes reflect the fact that the PMD team is refreshing the important ecosystem it created by reminding marketers that the Paid, Owned, and Earned media paradigm is here to stay on Facebook. The new requirements may seem daunting for PMDs not focused primarily on paid media, but compliance will yield a major benefit by allowing PMDs to concentrate on their core competencies through the pursuit of smart partnerships.
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Facebook announces winners of PMD Innovation Competition; Ampush leads

PMD-badgesFacebook today announced the winners of its Preferred Marketing Developer Innovation Competition, which included Ampush taking the grand jury prize and six other companies being recognized for their projects.

The competition was themed “The Era of News Feed,” and PMDs were tasked with creating a marketing product that effectively leverages the feed as a paid media placement. Ampush won for its Project YOGA, standing for Your Open Graph Applications. The tool’s analytics and ads integration helps marketers amplify Open Graph stories through News Feed.

KRDS, Moontoast, Optimal, SocialCode, SocialFlow and Unified were also announced as winners, among more than 50 PMDs who participated.
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Facebook platform industry news and hires: Fan Appz, SocialCode, Offerpop

fanappz-logo-horizontal-e1330106816966

Fan Appz

Enterprise software company SAP today announced that it has partnered with Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer Fan Appz to include Fan Appz’ Personalized Marketing Platform as part of the SAP Customer OnDemand solution. With Fan Appz, SAP customers will be able to collect social profiles of their fans and combine them with existing CRM data. Additional social data can be used to drive customer acquisition, retention and lifetime value.

socialcodeSocialCode

Facebook SPMD SocialCode today launched its self-serve ad platform out of client beta. The platform enables companies and their advertising agencies to use SocialCode’s technology through a SaaS model instead of managed services. The company says its platform offers “real-time automation, real-time bidding and seamless reporting and performance analysis. Clients also have the ability to run full factorial testing for a greater number of advanced campaigns with unlimited creative variations.”

Offerpop-LogoOfferpop

Social marketing platform Offerpop announced the following new hires this week:

  • Tim Maguire, Account Executive – former Account Executive at Engine Yard
  • Kelly Grady, Account Executive  – former Senior Account Executive at Cannon
  • Dina Attyeh, Junior Accountant – former Financial Planner at Ernst & Young
  • Jack Gibbs, Business Development Representative -former Executive Assistant at Shining Hope for Communities

Note that due to recent changes in the way Linkedin displays hiring information we have have changed the format of our weekly new hires posts. Companies who want their new hires included in the post must contact us directly at mail (at) insidefacebook(dot) com.

Facebook temporarily closes PMD program to new applicants due to demand

preferred marking developersFacebook is not currently accepting applicants for its Preferred Marketing Developer program as it reconsiders its badge requirements and process as a result of the volume of applications, a spokesperson from the company tells us.

Business Insider today reported that the social network had “halted” the PMD program. A Facebook spokesperson clarified to us that the program is still in effect, though new applicants are temporarily not being reviewed. The company periodically revises its criteria for entry and for awarding its qualification badges: ads, apps, insights and pages. The revised process and requirements are planned to go live in the next few weeks, after which point, Facebook will ask new developers to reapply.

Business Insider published an email Facebook sent to a developer who tried to apply to become a PMD, which indicated that the new application process will be based on a referral system and the new badge criteria will emphasize paid media, along with being able to help brands with owned and earned strategies.

“Please note that if you do not buy ads or sponsored stories on behalf of your clients, you will need to show us that you have the ability to pitch a Facebook holistic strategy and influence your clients on media spend,” the email said.
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Spredfast raises $18M, Sprinklr secures $15M for social marketing software

Two social marketing platform companies announced new funding today. Spredfast has raised $18 million in a venture capital round led by OpenView Venture Partners, and Sprinklr has raised $15 million in series B funding from Intel Capital and Battery Ventures.

spredfastSpredfast offers social media management software for the enterprise, including tools for publishing, monitoring, engagement and reporting across Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube and more. It allows teams to create a workflow and permissions model for different projects, maintain a centralized content calendar and share assets in a content library. The company has badges for apps and pages in Facebook’s Preferred Marketing Developer Program.

In the past year, Spredfast has signed on AT&T, Caterpillar, Rackspace and Starbucks, and expanded relationships with AAA, T. Rowe Price, Whole Foods Market and Warner Brothers. The company reports 400 percent revenue growth and a doubling in employee headcount in 2012.

This is the third venture capital round for the Austin-based company. This latest round was led by OpenView Venture Partners, with additional investment from existing investors Austin Ventures and InterWest Partners. Spredfast has now raised a total of $31.6 million since 2010, according to Crunchbase.

sprinklrSprinklr is another PMD with apps and pages badges. Its platform allows marketers and other stakeholders to collaborate across a number of channels. It offers governance tools to help brands manage different divisions of their business, keeping them organized and compliant but also free to manage day-to-day interactions with their audience and customers.

Sprinklr says it works with more than 200 household brands, including  1-800-Flowers, Intel, Dell, Virgin America, Cisco Systems, Samsung, Hearst, Newell Rubbermaid, Sears and Toys “R” Us. The company also reports 400 percent year over year growth.

Battery Ventures was also behind the New York company’s $5 million venture round last year.

Facebook platform industry update: Glow raises $1.3M; Offerpop makes hires

GlowGlow Digital Media, a Facebook Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer specializing in ads, today announced it has closed $1.3 million in seed funding.

The U.K. company also announced that it is expanding to the U.S. by opening an office in Los Angeles.

With its social ad platform Glow Machine, Glow was named one of 12 Strategic PMDs in September 2012. SPMDs get access to Facebook alpha and beta products, as well as more support from Facebook’s business, product and engineering teams. Glow says it has more than 80 brands and agencies as clients, including King.com, Blue Ant Media, Bacardi, Kraft and Mercedes Benz.

urlPlatform Industry Hires

Offerpop picked up a director of sales, director of client services, two senior developers and  a business development representative.

  • P.J. Franovic, Sales Director - former Manager of Inside Sales at Gilt City.
  • Phil Rosen, Senior Developer - former Lead Developer and Co-founder at Media AMP.
  • Manisha Shah, Director of Client Services – former Director of Client Services at Experian CheetahMail.
  • Tim Shilstone, Business Development Representative - former Business Development Intern at Bala Real Estate.
  • Adam Pan, Senior Developer - former Senior Software Engineer at Nexus Research Intelligence Inc.

Extole raises $7.6M for social advocacy platform

extole_small_LogoFacebook Preferred Marketing Developer Extole today announced that it has raised an additional $7.6 million in funding.

Extole, which bills itself as a “social advocacy platform,” helps brands and agencies promote engagement across the web, email and social networks like Facebook through apps meant to drive word of mouth. Last year the company released new products and updated existing ones to integrate Facebook’s Open Graph publishing features, which increase virality and earned media. One client found that for every one person who entered the sweepstakes after seeing a promotional message from the brand, 3.6 additional people entered as a result of social recommendations.

Extole says it has seen significant growth in revenue, bookings and customer acquisition over the past year, including winning new clients like eHarmony, Spotify, Cache, Seventh Generation and HSN Improvements. T-Mobile, Shutterfly, Redbox, SkyMall and Seamless are among Extole’s other customers.

This latest funding comes from Extole’s previous investors Shasta Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, Redpoint Ventures and Trident Capital, who participated in a $10-million Series C in February 2012. Extole has raised a total of $29.6 million since September 2010. Extole says the funding will be used for product and platform investments, as well as company growth.

Optimal raises $7M, hires CFO; and more Facebook platform industry hiring news

featured imageFacebook Preferred Marketing Developer Optimal today announced that it raised $7 million in a Series B round and hired a chief financial officer.

Paul Suh, former SVP of Finance and Operations at digital commerce and video gaming advertising company LiveGamer is taking the CFO position at Optimal, which has more than 30 employees and offices in San Francisco, New York and Palo Alto.

Optimal offers self-service and managed services for Facebook advertising and social analytics. The company has access to all of Facebook’s ad types, including the highly buzzed about Facebook Exchange. For business and marketing insights, Optimal offers Keyword Expander, Keyword Explorer, Optimal Index and Audience Matrix. The company has Facebook PMD badges in Ads and Apps, and with its latest platform including analytics on page and post activity, it is looking to gain the Insights badge this year.

CEO Rob Leathern says Optimal has quadrupled its revenue from social media advertising year over year, and that the company is looking to grow its sales/marketing and engineering teams with the investment.

Existing investors Neu Ventures, Stonnington Asset Allocation Fund and WGI Group participated in the round, as well as new investors DoubleRock,The Social Internet Fund, Siemer Ventures, Signal Ventures, John Pappajohn, Warren Adelman, Social Starts, James Altucher and Silicon Valley Bank. Investors James Altucher, an early investor in Buddy Media, and Suraj Kumar Rajwani from DoubleRock are joining the company’s board of directors as part of the funding deal.

In other Facebook platform company hiring news this week:

Ifeelgoods

  • Dali Kilani, VP of Engineering – former Director of Engineering, Shared Technology Group at Zynga

SocialClicks

  • Avi Golan, VP of Research and Development – former R&D director at Enghouse Interactive

SocialCode

  • Bill Masterson, Chief Revenue Officer - former sales director at Facebook

The Echo Nest

  • John Sierotko, Chief Revenue Officer – former Senior Vice President, Worldwide Sales & Marketing at Sony Gracenote
  • Scott Ryan, VP of Sales – former Vice President, Sales at Sony Gracenote

Facebook launches PMD Center to help marketers find vendors and software

Facebook today launched the Preferred Marketing Developer Center to serve as a more robust directory of companies, tools and apps for social marketing and advertising.

PMD Center attempts to solve pain points for both developers and marketers. With so many companies offering tools and services for Facebook advertising, analytics, competitive analysis, monitoring, promotions, publishing and more, it is difficult for brands and agencies to sift through and find what’s right for them. A lot of time is spent seeking information and listening to pitches. For PMDs, it can be tough to get the right contacts and leads.

PMD Center introduces expanded company profile pages including case studies, white papers and other links. There’s also an integrated contact form for marketers to reach out to individual PMDs or submit an RFP to multiple vendors. The previous directory did not have these capabilities and was less intuitive to navigate.

The PMD program, launched in April, certifies developers with badges in up to four areas: ads, apps, pages and insights. There’s also a Strategic Preferred Marketing Developer classification, which gives 12 companies access to alpha and beta products, as well as more support from Facebook’s business, product and engineering teams. PMD Center allows marketers to search or browse companies by these categories, as well as more specific services or specialties.

Companies that are not officially qualified as PMDs but build on the Facebook Ads API or sell inventory through the Facebook Exchange are now included in the new directory, giving these companies more opportunities to reach potential clients.

Another significant change is that developers can update their own pages through a self-serve dashboard. This means PMDs can keep their profiles up to date and upload new white papers and case studies as they want, rather than having to request that Facebook make changes to its directory.

As we wrote about last month, PMD Center is one of a number of efforts Facebook is looking to make to help developers and marketers in the coming year. Facebook recently hired a sales liaison to help the internal sales team understand the capabilities of each PMD so representatives can connect brands and agencies with the right vendors. The company also hired a PMD marketing communications manager and has other open positions for a PMD business development manager and a few partner managers.

PMD Center follows in the footsteps of App Center, the improved apps and games directory launched in June. These centers feature more visuals and rotating content to draw users in and help them discover things of interest, even if they’re just browsing. For users who do know what they want, Facebook offers more options for searching and filtering results.

A difference with PMD Center and App Center, however, is that Facebook contracted out the development of PMD Center. UK social media agency Gamaroff Digital built the new directory, so it got a call out in Facebook’s latest developer blog post and appears as a “PMD highlight” on the homepage. This might not sit well with other PMDs.

Shoutlet brings Facebook ad creation to marketing platform, partners with Kenshoo

Social marketing platform Shoutlet today announced new capabilities including Facebook ad creation and social listening, as well as a partnership with Kenshoo Social to provide advanced ad functionality.

These additions, along with updates to its contest-building tools and analytics, make Shoutlet a more full-featured solution for businesses looking for all-in-one social marketing software. Paid and owned media on Facebook increasingly have to work together, and this year we’ve seen a number of companies addressing this through new software and strategic partnerships.

With Shoutlet, basic Sponsored Story and page post ads are available natively. Shoutlet CEO Jason Weaver says the company is still considering what percentage fee it will take from these transactions. For more complex campaigns requiring multivariate testing, advanced targeting or additional tracking, Shoutlet customers can use Kenshoo’s platform, for which they’ll pay an additional licensing fee. Shoutlet hasn’t picked up the Facebook ads badge yet, but the company is looking to become certified in that area, adding to its existing pages and insights badges.

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