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‘We’ve had some bumps on the road’: Facebook is courting its ad partners with a series of new tools designed to make their jobs easier

  • Facebook has launched a series of new tools designed to help its partners more easily create and measure ads on its platform.
  • It has also broadened the partners in its ecosystem, enlisting freelancers and small agencies to help brands run ads on its platform.
  • At an event on Wednesday, the company acknowledged several recent missteps while still touting the platform’s power to advertisers.

Facebook might have its slipups, but it’s still the best platform for brands to put their ad dollars on.

That was essentially the company’s sales pitch at its annual Global Partner Summit for its marketing partners in New York City on Wednesday morning, a gathering bringing together over 1,000 developers, ad-tech partners, ad agencies, consulting firms, and measurement companies all under one roof.

“We’ve had some bumps on the road,” said David Fisher, Facebook’s vice president of business and marketing partnerships, kicking off the event.

“And we know that to seize all the opportunities in front of us, the only way that we can do that is to serve the millions of businesses who advertise today, the tens of millions of businesses who are on our platform … in collaboration with all of you,” he added.

To that end, the company rolled out a series of updates, including new tools designed to help its partners more easily create and optimize ads on its platform on behalf of big brands.

Among Facebook’s other announcements at Wednesday’s event:

  • It has officially rolled out a new tool for creative agencies, called “Creative Compass.”
  • And it has started beta-testing a new program called “Facebook PRO,” which expands the Facebook Marketing Program to include smaller agencies.

Facebook wants to help marketers measure the impact of ad creative

Among the new ad tools Facebook introduced Wednesday, Creative Compass has perhaps the biggest promise.

The product is designed to help brands measure the impact of their individual ads in a more scientific fashion — such as how effective various visual images are in persuading and influencing particular target audiences.

The idea is that brands should be able to understand how likely consumers are to take action after seeing an ad.

“We heard loud and clear for the entire ecosystem that getting creative right is a hard thing to do,” said Patrick Harris, Facebook’s vice president of global agency development. “So that’s why we’re investing heavily in tools to help.”

Creative Compass is being tested with select partners, but Facebook says it will be more widely available in 2019.

Facebook is also expanding its partner base

Facebook has made several changes to its partner program over the years, but now it’s expanding the initiative.

On a broader level, Facebook says, it’s bringing agencies and consultants closer with its more traditional partner ecosystem of tech companies to encourage collaboration; in the past, these groups were managed separately.

Specifically, Facebook is:

  • Testing a new program called “Facebook Marketing Consultants” that essentially accredits freelancers, helping to connect advertisers with vetted professionals beyond just agencies.
  • Adding smaller agencies to the program.

It is also creating a matchmaking tool for small brands to find the right partners to create ads

Additionally, Facebook launched Facebook PRO, a new pilot program designed to help small and medium advertisers find new service providers that meet their marketing needs.

For example, a direct-to-consumer toothbrush brand looking for a partner to create mobile video ads could tap into a company like Shuttlerock using Facebook PRO.

The program also gives agencies access to faster support through Messenger, livestreamed training sessions, and consultations with Facebook’s marketing-science team.

“We know it can be frustrating where you’re dealing with a client issue and you need to get a quick answer,” Harris said. “We’ve enabled better connections to our team and fast response times so you can get access to someone that can answer your question 24 hours a day, five days a week.”

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