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.

Inside Facebook recently wrote that Facebook will be seeking developers that can advise marketers on ad spend, even if they’re primarily focused on areas like Pages, Apps or Insights. There is no question why Facebook is making this play: Ads-focused PMDs have helped establish the PMD program as one of Facebook’s significant revenue drivers. However, by giving unpaid media developers the option to partner with an ads provider, many PMDs will be able to concentrate their efforts within their own areas of expertise, rather than delve into unchartered territory. Top-notch page management tools will be able to add new features, as will analytics-driven tools, custom integration developers and so on.

Facebook is also looking to PMDs for continued innovation around its various APIs. From a product perspective, each “badge” area of the PMD marketplace is saturated with technologies that sometimes offer strikingly similar capabilities. Ask any agency exec and they’ll likely contend that it has become virtually impossible to differentiate between some PMD offerings — and they are right!  In addition to demonstrating “clear proprietary value above and beyond Facebook’s native tools,” the PMD team has set higher standards for both current PMDs and new applicants with respect to quality and time. Satisfying these requirements will bring out the best in PMDs’ products, and as a result, help marketers.

Clearly the most impactful of the updates is that all PMDs will now need to either build ad tech to support their unpaid media technology or partner with an ads provider to boost content. PMDs that aren’t resourced to build an ads product will need to find an open platform with which they can integrate while enabling them to reach new customers via partnership. Integrating apps into an open platform where marketers can collaborate and work with PMDs across all four badged areas will help customers streamline their Paid, Owned, and Earned efforts. These integrations will also create a robust environment where brands, agencies, and publishers can access the best technologies and execute stellar Facebook marketing campaigns.

It is clear that the PMD program is taking steps to preserve its community of best-in-class developers focused on making social marketing easier and more effective. If this community is going to flourish, then let’s work together to do it right.

Greg is Vice President of Business Development at SHIFT, the leading collaboration platform for marketers. Fortune 500 companies such as American Express, Marriott, Verizon and Toyota use SHIFT to execute their marketing initiatives and measure bottom line impact. Founded in 2010, SHIFT is the only open marketing platform with both Twitter Ads API access and the Facebook sPMD classification. SHIFT has offices in Santa Monica, New York, Chicago and Palo Alto. Follow Greg on Twitter.