Facebook's (News - Alert) efforts to sell advertising, both mobile and standard, have proven a bit more challenging than some would like, so Facebook is looking to call in some fairly major league backup. They've enlisted the help of Salesforce to help potential ad buyers better dial in their target audiences, in the hopes that better targeting will improve Facebook's overall ad sales, and Salesforce announced earlier this week, at their Dreamforce conference in San Francisco, some new tools that may just help.
First out of the newly-enhanced tool kit was what's called the "Salesforce Marketing Cloud", a combination of Salesforce's recent purchases of Buddy Media (News - Alert) and Radian6. The Salesforce Marketing Cloud allows companies to more easily launch full ad campaigns on Facebook, as well as on other social sites, including the ability to derive Facebook page addresses and Twitter (News - Alert) handles from the e-mail addresses, phone numbers, and the like stored on Salesforce.com, allowing them to build customized contact lists.
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Additionally, the Salesforce Marketing Cloud is set to become part of Facebook's audience targeting feature, a custom-built tool that launched earlier this month that allows for extremely tightly-targeted ads on Facebook.
Moreover, Salesforce is now one of the first companies to join Facebook PMD's "strategic level", giving Salesforce early access to the results of product testing and improved customer support systems. Salesforce and Facebook have been close companions for some time now in the business world, and this newest alliance--not even Oracle (News - Alert) has made it on the "strategic level" lists--just shows how deep the rabbit hole goes, metaphorically speaking.
Facebook has been needing help on this front for some time now. It's not that Facebook advertising isn't valuable, it's just that many companies have been wondering why they should buy Facebook advertising when they can simply run their own campaigns from their Facebook profiles, and then advertise all the like to the tame market that has literally signed themselves up.
Few forms of advertising, after all, are more targeted than that which the targets actually show an interest in receiving, so why buy that banner ad? Facebook is likely out to show potential customers that those big ads that they pay for are not only less work, but can be every bit as tightly targeted as the promotion going on inside the tent of a Facebook page. That's just what Facebook needs to do to make itself a viable source of ad sales once again, and it's clearly making its moves in that direction.
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Edited by Brooke Neuman