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February 28, 2013

Facebook Marketers Can Now Draw On Third-Party Data Firms to Target Customers

Facebook is expanding its Custom Audiences tool to allow marketers to work with third-party data providers in a bid to enhance their marketing efforts on the social network.

Custom Audiences allows advertisers to target their sponsored story or ad to a specific set of users with whom they have already established a relationship on or off Facebook.

Now, businesses can make use of Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom or BlueKai to give their marketing campaign some extra kick.

According to Facebook’s Studio blog, there are two options:

• Businesses that already have a relationship with these third parties can now use the same data they have used in other campaigns to create campaigns on Facebook.

• Facebook will work with the data firms to create “pre-defined or custom first-party targeting categories on Facebook.” Businesses of any size can now target categories like “soda drinkers” or “people who browsed for a specific make/model on my website.”

“For example, an auto dealer may want to customize an offer to people who are looking to buy a new car,” the blog reads. “To do this today, many businesses work with third parties to better understand how to identify and reach that audience. With today’s updates businesses can now do this same thing by showing ads to people on Facebook who may be in the market for a new car.”

Facebook says it uses a special process to ensure private information about its users is not shared with marketers. Also, members retain the same control over the ads they see on Facebook: They can learn more about the ads they see, give feedback, or opt-out using the controls provided in the ads or in the Help Center.

“We know that more relevant ads are better for people and businesses,” the blog post reads. “By showing the right ads to the right people, businesses have been able to increase the effectiveness of their Facebook campaigns.”

The blog gives two examples:

• Castle Auto Group, a car dealership in Chicago, saw a 24-times return on its ad spend combining Facebook offers with custom audiences to their existing target customers.

• Kingnet, a Hong Kong-based game developer, saw a more than 40 percent decrease in cost-per-installs of its action role-playing game by using custom audiences.

The program will be made available over the coming weeks, beginning with marketers in the U.S.