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BI Intelligence
There is no better window into the fast-changing world of social media marketing than Facebook's preferred marketing developer program. It has only been in existence for 18 months, and already there are over 260 such partners operating worldwide, helping brands plug into Facebook's ad platforms and parse performance. Within the program, there's an even more elite group of fourteen "strategic preferred marketing developers," or SPMDs.  Since they have privileged access, and often help Facebook develop ad products, these so-called SPMDs are arguably the best sources to turn to when trying to predict the future of social media as a high-tech marketing platform.
In a recent report, BI Intelligence interviewed executives at four leading SPMDs, who pointed to the key factors driving social media marketing's future, like the changing relationship between paid, owned and earned media. They saw consolidation in their area — the tech side of things, as opposed to the creative side — as inevitable, and believed only the marketing developers with the best technology would win out. As more brand dollars flow into social media, some firms will be able to build scale and others will lose the race and fall by the wayside.
Here are some of the other insights gleaned from our conversations with Facebook's strategic marketing partners: