Ads API Profile: Marin Software Provides Audience Segmentation Across Facebook and Paid Search

Facebook’s performance advertising system lets buyers target users based on identity, location, interests, and Facebook connections, but it doesn’t provide the control to utilize these targeting parameters on a large scale. To allow companies to build more powerful tools for designing and managing ads, Facebook released an Ads API last fall. One company offering a tool which make it easy to create segment-targeted ads and optimize for specific metrics is Marin Software.

The company comes from having developed search marketing software, and does a notable job providing flexible options for businesses on Facebook who also rely on search traffic. Here’s a closer look.

Marin Software’s product is designed to save time and maximize returns for enterprise class marketers. Those who license the browser-based tool can create, manage, and track Facebook ads alongside paid search campaigns on a large scale. Users can integrate the tool with other analytics programs, utilize algorithmic bidding, monitor the paths consumers take to conversion, and use advanced segmenting options to target very specific audiences.

Company Profile

Marin Software was founded in 2006 as a paid search management application developer, building tools for advertisers and agencies spending over $100,000 a month on marketing. While offering some planned services and best practices to help its 200 current clients maximize the value of the tool, it doesn’t actually manage any campaigns itself. Upon the release of the ads API, Marin Software assigned some its 130 employees to develop competencies around Facebook ads.

This summer, Marin Software entered the social network advertising arena by adding Facebook ad management capabilities to its tool. A dozen clients,including advertisers Education Connection and Macy’s, and agencies Red Bricks Media and Razorfish, are on track to purchase $3 million a year in Facebook ads and track 15 billion impressions through the tool. Clients are charged a percentage based on their total spend volume: 4.5% on $100,000 to $250,000 per month down to 2% on anything over $2 million per month plus prior tier percentages.

Marin maintains its headquarters in San Francisco and offices in New York, Chicago, London, and Singapore. The company has raised a total of $33.5 million in rounds led by Benchmark Capital, and DAG Ventures, with its most recent Series D round also joined by Focus Ventures, Amicus Capital, and Triangle Peak Partners.

Segmentation, Optimization and the Road to Conversion

Marin Software’s browser-based tool opens to a dashboard in which users can see individual and aggregated graphs and charts of performance statistics from Facebook ads and paid search channels like Google, Yahoo! and Bing. The ability to see which channel is providing the lowest cost per click helps users determine where to allocate their spend.

Different ad variations from across channels can be assembled into groups to allow users to collectively track all their ads linking to a certain product, targeted at a specific region or interest group, or that use a certain creative. For busy managers who don’t want to constantly monitor all their ads, users can manage by exception. Filters allow users to focus on ads and campaigns that need attention, such as only showing those with negative click-through-rate changes. Universal search quickly locates specific ads or campaigns, and a find and replace feature facilitates making edits to multiple ad creatives simultaneously.

One-time and recurring reports in categories like traffic/cost or gross profit can be easily generated, customized, and formatted. Specialized conversion/revenue reports can be made to track different business types like hotels, lead generation, phone or email marketing, reservations, and commerce. They can be branded with a company logo, exported to PDF or Excel, or hosted at a URL to allow users to import updates to their analytics whenever they want. The tool can also be integrated with analytics systems like Omniture, Coremetrics, Dart, and Atlas.

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