Wanna know where your sales are coming from, but more specifically, the path it takes for a person to buy from initially seeing your ad to finally making a purchase? Your answers are finally here with Facebook Atlas.
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This will enable advertisers and marketers to not only see the buying actions people are taking from desktop, mobile and tablet devices before they make a conversion / or a purchase, but will also be able to target people better based on demographics and not relying on cookies alone. Cookies are the main way of tracking websites that people visit for ad targeting purposes. For example: if you looked at a pair of shoes on Zappos, then you would likely see deals for shoes on your Facebook News Feed and right side ad. However, cookies do not work on mobile devices. This makes it difficult for marketers to track the interests of consumers. Atlas, on the other hand will not rely solely on cookies, but will allow advertisers to harness Facebook’s data about customers to target them on non-Facebook sites and apps, with ads not purchased through Facebook
Why might this terrify consumers? Well, it’s a little too late because consumers are already terrified, but this new technology will enable marketers to get even more information about consumers and make the marketing and buying experience even more customized, which could freak some people out. Marketers using this technology will be able to do this even if the person is not logged into Facebook and have browser cookies turned off,
As buyers, we’ve all been there. This actually happened to me just the other day. I saw an ad for a sale on Ray Ban sunglasses. The fool that I am, clicked on the link on my mobile phone. Indeed the sale was actually happening, but I didn’t want to view the sunglasses on my tiny iphone 5 screen. I needed to enlarge the pictures so I went on my 27 inch iMac screen. After all, this impulse purchase was not to be taken lightly.
This is EXACTLY the kind of tracking that will be available with the cross platform reporting for marketers powered by Atlas. The fact is that we all use different devices throughout the day. Marketers have to take that into account when they are setting up ads. Altimeter Group research has found that more than 60 percent of U.S. adults use at least two devices daily, and more than 40 percent sometimes start an activity, like shopping, on one device and later on go to another device, kind of like what I did with the sunglasses.
It’s really not enough anymore to just know how some offers convert better on mobile devices over desktops over tablets. Marketers are now interested in the path the buyer took to actually get to the sale. It makes perfect sense if you think about “old school” advertising. How many calls does it take to get a prospect on the phone? How many times do you have to meet with them or speak with them to actually bring home the sale? How many times did you email back and forth? This is exactly what Facebook is giving us with modern day advertising…which is amazing!
It’s Not Just About Conversion Tracking – It’s Buyer Behavior Tracking, Which Is Completely Different
Before this new technology, advertisers might have been using information all wrong. Let’s say most of the of sales of a particular product were coming from desktop computers. However, the final sales information didn’t take into account how many times people saw the ad on their mobile (or other) devices before they actually purchased. This is a huge mistake! If a marketer saw all of their sales coming from desktop computers and put the breaks on their mobile ads, then this could have impacted sales tremendously. That is why this new technology is such a huge deal and a potential game changer.
Here’s a more in depth statement of what Facebook said:
Imagine seeing an ad for a product on your mobile phone while in line at the bank. Do you immediately make a purchase on your phone? Probably not. But perhaps you go back to your office later that day and buy on your desktop computer. Such cross-device conversions are becoming increasingly common as people move between their phones, tablets and desktop computers to interact with businesses.
This is especially interesting for different products that people generally need more time to look at and digest and oftentimes the first time people see something is on their mobile devices when they are standing around, and killing time. Or even further seeing an ad on their mobile device and 3 weeks later purchasing the item in a store, offline!
People Based Metrics Versus Cookies
The problem with cookies is they are not as effective anymore as they used to be….and they don’t even work on mobile. People today use so many different devices and even share devices with other people and access the internet from different locations throughout the day. This presents a problem for marketers because they can’t really rely on the “cookie data” anymore as this distorts measurement of reach and the frequency with which advertisers reached their audience. If audiences are bouncing around from device to device and browser to browser, this will be harder and harder to track for marketers.
Atlas is moving more towards a people based metric, rather than having to rely solely on cookies where the ultimate goal is to foster true 1-to-1 marketing where every ad, promotion and customer touch point is individualized to the human (not device). This will allow marketing to become much more personalized and will make the entire experience better (and perhaps freakier) for the consumer.
The way Atlas will work is that when a user logs in to Facebook or uses his or her Facebook credentials to log in to other websites, the network installs cookies to track the user’s activities on the website. But as we stated above, cookies alone are not effective, and they don’t work on mobile, which is increasingly becoming the preferred way people go online. Therefore, Atlas combines cookies with demographic information to help advertisers target their audience. For example, if a gardening retail store wants to target women aged 35 to 50 years old, who live in San Diego and like to plant April Moon Roses, Facebook will dig up its massive information database and serve the ads to its users who fit that demographic.
As marketers we should feel great about this evolving technology. However, as consumers, the issue of privacy, or lack thereof, is a completely different ballgame.
=> Are you excited about this new technology? Do you feel it will personalize the buyer experience or just freak out your customers? We look forward to hearing from you!
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