Facebook Tracks Users Offline Purchases to assist Ad Targeting Online

The offline and online data collection worlds are about to collide as never before. Facebook will soon announce partnerships with Axciom, Epsilon and Datalogix, three real-world data marketing giants with access to billions of pieces of information about shopping habits.

Wow, what a busy time it has been for the masterminds of Facebook. Last week we told you all about Facebook Exchange (FBX) – a real time bidding ad exchange in which advertisers drop cookies on users’ browsers as they surf the web, read more here – which will aid in retargeting customers at an additional touchpoint.

Now Facebook is said to be developing ANOTHER new form of ad targeting that will help brands match up customers’ offline purchases to their Facebook profiles, so the ads that they see on your Facebook may look very familiar to something you purchased or registered for recently. Right now this is only for the US of course but if it works well there it’s likely that this will reach our shores..

From a marketing point of view that is fantastic particularly for FMCG brands – for example, you could target consumers who purchased Brand X of nappies with ads for Brand X’s Premium-Range nappies not only on EDMs but now on Facebook as well, simply by having their FlyBuys / Target cards etc.

In a recent brochure, Datalogix  makes its case for merging the two worlds: “Why are offline transactions relevant online? Because they’re a more predictive indicator of intent rather than banner ad clicks. Too often, marketers view click-throughs as response data. But a click-through is not a sale,” it says.

facebook datalogix partner

Facebook has partnered up with data experts Epsilon, Acxiom and Datalogix (only partnership with Datalogix has been confirmed) to allow brands to match data gathered through shopper loyalty programs to individual Facebook profiles.

“We are working with Datalogix to help advertisers understand how well their Facebook ads are working. We also do this through our partnerships with companies like Nielsen and comScore and through our own advertising tool,” a Facebook rep told Digital Trends in a statement.

But how will this work? According to sources (who have knowledge of the product), the advertising targeting will function by matching the information of those who have signed up for loyalty card or in-store programs to individual Facebook accounts through email addresses and phone numbers.

When becoming consumers become member of loyalty/store card from retailers they are often required to provide their email address and phone number when registering. Typically that email addresses or phone number is the same one that they use to sign into Facebook. Well through this, programs can match two corresponding data points and from there Facebook will receive a report to identify the purchase history of that user, and whether or not after viewing the ad on social networking sites the customer was influenced to make a purchase. This will evidently help Facebook measure the impact of its advertising and tailor ads specific to the consumer.

With regard to privacy, a Facebook’s spokesperson has come forward and provided the following statement,

“We know that people share a lot of information on Facebook, and we have taken great care to make sure that we measure the effectiveness of Facebook ads without compromising the commitments we have made on privacy. We don’t sell people’s personal information, and individual user data is not shared between Facebook, Datalogix or advertisers.”

In summary – Every breath you take, every move you make, every loyalty card you take, Facebook will be watching you…

How do you view this development as a brand and as a personal Facebook user? Do you believe this type of marketing is effective?

In regards to Facebook privacy, do you think that as social media grows, Facebook’s privacy policy is going down a road where advertising and profit take priority over their user’s privacy rights? It seems as time goes one Facebook keeps stretching their privacy policy for users.

Tell us your thoughts.

copyright FRANk Media 2018