Facebook continues to innovate when it comes to showing relevant ads to its users. The latest addition to Facebook’s advertising techniques comes in the form of an updated retargeting tool, which lets companies show ads on Facebook to users who have previously visited that company’s website or used their smartphone app.
Facebook calls the feature “website and mobile app custom audiences”, and it exists independently from Facebook’s existing FBX ad exchange, and doesn’t include AdRoll, Triggit, or other demand-side platforms. It is a series of tools at Facebook’s disposal that allow it to serve targeted ads that aren’t limited to the data that users post themselves.
All direct-response marketers need to take advantage of the new retargeting feature is to add Facebook’s existing tracking software to their websites and mobile apps.
What Are The Benefits To Marketers?
There are plenty of reasons why advertisers would want to give Facebook’s custom audience tools a try. This type of targeted advertising lets marketers use the customer data they’ve already gathered, such as phone numbers and email addresses, to identify Facebook users.
Further refinements can be made to custom audience advertising by using Facebook’s standard targeting data, including geographical location, gender, marital status, and age. This wasn’tt possible under the FBX system, which gives advertisers another very compelling reason to try Facebook’s new suite of tools.
Scott Shapiro, the product marketing manager at Facebook, used Nordstrom as a case study for the new retargeting tools. Now that custom audiences can be leveraged to deliver mobile ads, he described the opportunity that Nordstrom now has to show mobile engagement ads to customers who have the Nordstrom app already installed on their smartphone. If they have already used the app to browse the Nordstrom product lineup, they can be gently urged to open the app again. In short, it’s a great way to remind customers of shopping tools that they already have at their fingertips.
This may also be useful for people who may have strongly considered a purchase, but whose circumstances prevented them from following through. Using these retargeting tools, customers can be gently returned to the same page to finish their transaction.
What Can’t It Do?
One important FBX feature that Facebook’s new tool can’t (yet) replicate is the ability to leverage predictive buying. In other words, somebody who has been browsing turquoise skirts cannot be shown an advertisement for blue dresses after an algorithm has predicted the customer’s fashion preferences.
In other words, custom audiences doesn’t offer the ability for marketers to make predictive changes to its advertising based on customer behavior. It is for this reason that Facebook leadership predicts that most advertisers will use both FBX and the new custom audience targeting tools.
What Does This Mean For The User?
It’s important to note that Facebook will be offering its users the ability to opt-out from ad targeting. This is good news for those who want to reclaim a modicum of their privacy. For everybody else, they’ll be able to experience relevant ads. In a world where online ads are a given, users should find this to be an easy concession to make.