Brands Can Now Target Facebook Users Based on Activity Outside Facebook
Facebook is combining what it knows about its users’ behavior and activities on Facebook and off, with the help of data brokers like Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon.
Brands can now target users based on their activity outside of Facebook, across desktop and mobile channels, and offline entirely.
With this latest change to its arsenal of ad products, Facebook is trying to gain more pull with large advertisers in particular, as it pieces together more actionable data such as shopping patterns, email lists and loyalty programs on its users.
Marketers can now go to Facebook to place ads in front of users based on more signals and a deeper compilation of data mined from more sources. Paul Marcum, director of global digital marketing and programming at GE, is already thinking about how he’d like to use the new ad targeting parameters for the benefit of his brands.
"We have a number of different audiences that are relevant for us, of course with GE,” he said. "Certainly we seek to engage business decision makers and have perhaps more commercially oriented conversations, but we also seek to engage people who are enthusiastic about technology like we are. However those connections can be made off of Facebook, on Facebook, we're excited to make those connections. Their ability to surface and find people who share our same interests is a great opportunity for us."
He is confident that Facebook is riding the wave toward more granular ad targeting, taking cues from the industry at large.
“Online marketers of all stripes have embraced programmatic buying in recent years as the technology has increasingly become more sophisticated and obviously the data pulled together has become available,” Marcum said.
Facebook has created more than 500 unique groups of users based on data from its partners thus far. A consumer-packaged goods marketer can, for example, target heavy buyers of children’s cereal from data provided to Facebook by Datalogix that “includes loyalty card and transaction-level household purchase data with multi-channel coverage across all product categories.”
In clarifying its adherence to privacy standards, Facebook acknowledges that many companies are already using this type of data for targeting off of Facebook.
“No personal information is shared between Facebook, third parties or advertisers. Partner categories work the same way all targeting on Facebook works. The advertiser only knows the size of the audience and can’t access any information about individuals included in a category,” the company noted in a blog post.
When asked if Facebook is nearing the deep end in terms of how granular it can get with data for ad targeting purposes, GE’s Marcum responded with optimism and wonder.