Facebook has launched a new offline sales measurement tool run through Custom Audiences. Using Custom Audiences, retailers already had the ability to serve ads to specific groups of their customer base on Facebook, but now they will also be able to run data about these customers through Facebook to gauge the effectiveness of the ads.
This service, previously only available to brands working with third parties, allows businesses to buy ads, send secure buyer information to Facebook, and receive data from Facebook showing how many users who saw the ads went on to buy the product. This process measures not only those who click on the Facebook ad, but specifically those who are simply viewing the ad as well.
To be more precise, let’s say a car company is looking to work with Custom Audiences to measure offline sales. The company begins collecting email addresses from its customers through forms, loyalty programs, newsletters and the like. This information is then used securely through Facebook’s Custom Audiences targeting tool to serve ads to a specific audience. Once a customer inputs their email address in the form of a credit card or loyalty card swipe at one of the company’s dealerships, the purchase is then matched to a user and added to sales data. This data is encrypted and sent to Facebook. From there, Facebook is able to identify how many people who saw the ad actually purchased a vehicle in comparison to those who were not exposed to the ad, giving a pretty clear picture of the ad’s impact.
The potential for this ability to measure an ad’s influence on offline sales is near game changing. Advertisers will be able to see statistics about which of their ads are driving more offline sales, or how many more people are buying a product after having seen an ad than after not having seen it. This would certainly help brands make quick, cost-effective marketing decisions.
Additionally, there’s the ability to measure ROI of impressions, not just clicks, that will make a major difference in mobile advertising. Pop up ads on mobile devices drive users crazy and are therefore far less likely to be clicked than those on desktops. With measurements of impressions, there’s no need to rely solely on clicks for sales data, making it far easier to track mobile impact.
This new tool will ultimately contribute to the specific targeting of ads, making sure that they’re served to users most likely to use the product. In turn, this will help advertisers reach the most effective target market as well as soothe frustrated Facebook users who are tired of ads for brands they don’t care about. Essentially, this is about to make advertising on Facebook a lot easier on brands and users alike.
See Facebook’s blog post here.