Report: Facebook to match user profiles with offline purchases for ad targeting

ads logoFacebook is partnering with data vendors like Acxiom, Datalogix and Epsilon to allow advertisers to match data from consumer loyalty programs with user profiles in order to target ads by offline purchase habits, according to Ad Age.

The social network did not confirm the report or offer any comment, but Ad Age cited an OMD social media director who has been involved in beta tests. The news is also in line with what we have heard from sources familiar with Facebook’s advertising plans, who told us that Facebook would soon introduce new targeting options based on data from outside of the social network.

Last year Facebook began working with Datalogix to measure how Facebook ads affect in-store sales. Datalogix has information from loyalty cards and programs at more than 1,000 retailers. Facebook can then match email addresses or other information associated with those memberships with the email addresses or information associated with users’ Facebook accounts. All emails and personally identifiable information is anonymized, but the companies can compare the differences in sales among groups who saw certain Facebook ads versus those who didn’t. It makes sense that Facebook could also use the matches to create groups for ad targeting.

Many media companies, including DSPs, DMPs, agency trading desks, ad networks and exchanges, already partner with Datalogix and similar companies to target users by offline purchases in a privacy safe way. Most consumers are unaware that this goes on, but when Facebook moves into this area it is likely to face much more scrutiny. Not only is Facebook under a greater microscope, but users feel a personal connection to the service and often worry about who has access to their information and how it could be used. On the other hand, most people don’t think about browser cookies often, and they likely haven’t heard of companies like BlueKai or AppNexus, which already help advertisers target them by their online and offline behavior. Facebook will have to take extra precautions to prevent users from feeling exploited.

The social network has evolved its position on ad targeting in the past year. Instead of having advertisers target their ads only based on information users have added to their profiles, it now allows targeting by first-party data like CRM lists through Custom Audiences and cookies through Facebook Exchange. Now it seems to be letting in third-party data from vendors like Datalogix.

This trend was foreshadowed by a job listing Facebook added to its careers page in August 2012. The job description for a Product Marketing Manager, Monetization says, “Facebook is seeking an expert in data management platforms. This role will develop our plans and vision for how we can enable businesses to better reach their customers and prospects on Facebook.”

Data management platforms help advertisers organize their first party data (web analytics, CRM), second party data (from strategic partners that can match CRM records or cookies) and third party data (such as from Acxiom or Datalogix) to improve their advertising efforts. As we wrote about previously, Facebook is uniquely positioned in each of these areas, and because it can match data to a unique user profile, it has an advantage over other systems, which tend to rely on cookie matching. And with Facebook, advertisers can combine demographic, interest and other targeting to ensure they’re reaching the most relevant audience.

Creative Social Branding

Mediabistro Course

Creative Social Branding

Starting November 24, learn how to create a social buzz for your brand! You’ll learn how to engage with audiences on social platforms, identify and engage with current trends and influencers, and build an excellent social strategy to amplify your numbers and rate engagement. Register now!

 

Leave a Reply

One Response to “Report: Facebook to match user profiles with offline purchases for ad targeting”

  1. Weekly Top 10 in Facebook Marketing – Volume 5 | PostRocket Blog says:

    [...] 6. Report: Facebook to match user profiles with offline purchases for ad targeting [...]

Get the latest news in your inbox
interested in advertising with inside facebook?

Social Media Jobs
of the Day

Social Media Strategist

A Luxury Real Estate Developer
New York, NY

Newswire Editor

PR.com
New York City / Long Island, NY

Senior Social Media Brand Manager-Los Angeles Area

Brigade Marketing
Los Angeles, CA

Featured Company

Join leading companies like this one and recruit from the nation's top media job seekers on the Mediabistro Job Board. Every job post comes with our satisfaction guarantee. Learn More
 

Our Sponsors

Mediabistro A division of Prometheus Global Media home | site map | advertising/sponsorships | careers | contact us | help courses | browse jobs | freelancers | content | member benefits | reprints & permissions terms of use | privacy policy Copyright © 2014 Mediabistro Inc. call (212) 389-2000 or email us