Facebook ramps up marketing data

facebook-woman-2Facebook’s 1 billion-strong user database – once considered marketing gold – is being polished up with the addition of data from the likes of Acxiom and Epsilon as part of plans to make the site more attractive to advertisers.
The move has seen Facebook create more than 500 unique user groups based on the third-party anonymised data, plucked from loyalty schemes and email lists, as well as consumers’ on and offline transactions.
While companies have been using this sort of data for targeting consumers for years, this is the first time advertisers will be able to overlay it onto the Facebook database.
The social network insisted that “no personal information is shared between Facebook, third parties or advertisers”. In a blog post it said: “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.”
Rebecca Lieb, an analyst at Altimeter Group, said: ““I don’t think they’ve cracked new codes. They are, however, making a valuable tool more broadly available.
“The data is going to be pretty rich and robust, that is the heart of Facebook’s advertising offering. It’s state of the art, precise customer targeting data.”
And tech giant General Electric has already backed the move. Director of global digital marketing and programming Paul Marcum said: “That ability to target is of course something that has been part of the opportunity on Facebook from the earliest days. I think it’s natural that they combine what they’re able to do within the platform with what marketers are able to do outside of the platform.
“It makes a lot of sense and will be seen as fairly appealing for those who have been doing audience buying so far.”
Marcum added: “I would never bet against the future of data. I think that there’s opportunities out there that I’m sure we haven’t even contemplated yet and ways that we can be more relevant and further the comfort and the conversation, and the ongoing relationship between brands and their audiences.”

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