Facebook had identified India as one of the key geographies for the Facebook Marketing Partners Program (FMP). This is a Facebook initiative designed to help marketers face a number of challenges in digital marketing, not just on Facebook, but across digital channels.
Calling India a huge opportunity in terms of talent, Kiran Raghavan, Head of APAC, Facebook Marketing Partners Program said, “This indicates (growth of digital marketing) that every marketer is going to evaluate how to use the best approach in a world that is becoming increasingly digital. There are companies here that want to approach a publisher like Facebook to get access to the right technology which will then help them to gain access to the right clients. Our big opportunity is to identify these companies early.”
“ At least for the next 12-24 months, we see ourselves spending a lot of time identifying these companies in the media planning and buying segment, where we are either nurturing companies building really effective ad technology solutions or partners that can provide high quality content at uncontested scale for marketers to test and run multiple campaigns. Along with this, we want to build a community that measures and tells the impact of marketing in the context of a digital world far more transparently and effectively. If we can achieve this in the next 24 months then I think this will be the opportunity that we will be able to capitalize on in India,” he further added.
Raghavan would not name how many partners Facebook works with in India as part of FMP but said that partner growth continues to increase.
“We have just got 3 new partners Sokrati, Adwize and DeltaX in India under the ad technology discipline. DeltaX works with Citibank across SE Asia and assists their agency Havas Media in generating quality leads through an innovative integration between Facebook Ads and Advertisers CRM funnel. AdWyze helped Koovs scale their Facebook ad spends by shifting their marketing approach from a cost center to a profit based one. By strategizing campaigns around return on ad spends, Koovs saw a 91 per cent increase in ROI, a 43 per cent drop in Cost per transaction and scaled spends by 6x. Sokrati helped Dapper Shoes scale by 5x in RoAS within 5 months, among 700 unique SKUs and a competitive fashion market,” he said.
Every partner is vetted for excellence by industry, country and one or more of eight specialties; ad technology, media buying, community management, content marketing, small business solutions, audience onboarding, audience data providers, measurement.
Some of the main criteria that Raghavan says a prospective partner should fulfil are; the technology that the company is developing should meet best practices and Facebook’s own standard, the technology should solve for particular gaps or needs that exist in the market, another important aspect is the ability to build fast. Apart from this, the company should have a solid track record of success.
Also, Facebook says it does not take any part of the revenue generated by the partner. Explains Raghavan, “Partners charge a fee which could be fixed or variable, depending on size of projects. Ultimately what will drive marketers to pay is if value is delivered. Facebook does not take a revenue share. We are benefitted whenever a partner delivers a real marketing success and as a result the advertiser increases their investment, which leads to increased confidence in Facebook. We have structured the program to be transparent and so that value is very clear and very explicit throughout the chain.”
Though the focus is clearly on enabling brands to make more efficient use of digital marketing and drive business results, are there any specific verticals that Facebook wants its partners to focus on?
“The way we look at focus areas for partners is essentially looking at what companies want to do. If you see where companies are putting most of their marketing dollars, they are trying to create more brand awareness for themselves and new products or services that they are trying to launch or they are trying to drive investments to existing products and services. So, we try to get our partners to focus on both marketing funnels. There are a number of verticals in India that fall in this category, whether it is financial services, e-commerce, travel, retail, FMCG, etc. These are all segments where we see a lot of potential for our partners to add value,” he informed us.
It would be tempting to think that Facebook’s focus on growing the Facebook Marketing Partner Program in India is also a result of the low revenue it generates here. Despite being the second largest market for Facebook and the fastest growing globally, India’s contribution to overall revenues still remains marginal. However, Raghavan is quick to point out that any investments made are not based on revenues generated in the market but rather by the potential the company sees.
“Historically, this is a function of time. As long as we are enabling our partners to deliver effective solutions in an open and transparent fashion, time will soon catch up. India will soon follow the trends of other markets. It (Investment) is a function of how much activity we see in the market and are there problems to be solved. Sometimes we will also invest ahead of the curve because if the right capabilities and the right companies exist, with the right direction and the right solution, we will see an immediate uptake which will ultimately will then lean itself to more investments,” he said.