Facebook Hits the Display Retargeting Reset Button

  |  September 14, 2012   |  Comments

How the ability to use a brand's existing permission data (email/phone) to retarget users across Facebook's network will impact marketers, and what you should do to leverage relationship retargeting.

Facebook’s reported intent to rollout email and phone number-based ad targeting shines a huge spotlight on retargeting. Specifically, the announcement gives marketers the opportunity to cross-reference their communities across email and social to coordinate and retarget their existing subscribers/customers within the walls of Facebook – and that is major.

The ability to use a brand’s existing permission data (email/phone) to retarget those users across the Facebook network represents one of the most significant developments in the display advertising industry in years.

First and foremost, it wasn’t possible before.

In addition, it now shifts the mindset from what has traditionally been an acquisition-oriented display mentality to the often overlooked and under-budgeted relationship retargeting opportunity.

Finally it does so with significant scale – combining huge opt-in email databases with the power of Facebook’s 900 million users. A quick check across some client programs where email address was checked against a Facebook App acceptance process that included email found a match rate of over 65 percent. Meaning, more than 65 percent of consumers were using the same email address for Facebook as they were for their promotional emails from a brand.

Imagine for a moment the ability to create a Facebook promotion on your brand page, supporting it with an email promotion via your opt-in database, and then retargeting those users on Facebook to encourage them like and/or participate in the promotion. It is cross-channel orchestration nirvana at scale and it is a reality today.

While the move will have its detractors, especially from those still buzzing from when Facebook broke in its new Terms and Policies Hub with a revamped data use policy around the time of the IPO, it does offer marketers a big new opportunity.

So how will the availability of this new capability impact marketers and what should you being doing now to leverage relationship retargeting?

1. Create a Testing Budget for 2013

Responsibility for display advertising and its respective budget normally resides outside relationship email marketing and retention/CRM efforts. If you’re in charge of email or CRM add a “Relationship Retargeting” line item to your 2013 budget to support key programs.

2. Build Bridges & Coordinate Display Efforts

Display advertising efforts to both known and unknown users should be coordinated to maximize results and learnings. Acquisition and retention departments should work closely to help ensure success and optimize the efficiency and effectiveness of display retargeting efforts.

3. Integrate & Coordinate

Think about cross-channel orchestration and plan ahead. Create cross-channel programs and use Facebook’s new capabilities (when available) to help seal the deal. Support Facebook programs with email and Facebook retargeting efforts to drive conversion and community-like participation. Develop program use cases, plans and flows for key program initiatives throughout the year.

4. Set Objectives & Goals

Define what success looks like. Include the specific lift in conversion and/or sales you hope to generate from display retargeting efforts and measure the overall ROI.

5. Track and Measure

Create a reporting framework and share your learnings internally. Assure all program elements are tagged so that lift can be properly measured.

Why Isn’t Relationship Retargeting a Bigger Focus?

As the old saying goes, it’s 5 to 10 times cheaper to keep an existing customer than to acquire a new one. Well, relationship targeting should be a bigger focus and Facebook’s ability to use permission-based email and phone numbers for ad targeting might just have some major brands ready to hit the reset button for their display advertising efforts moving forward.


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Michael Della Penna

Michael Della Penna is a seasoned marketing professional with a long, proven track record of launching successful marketing, branding, and sales strategies for leading public and private companies. Most recently, Michael was the senior vice president of Emerging Channels at Responsys. His responsibilities included spearheading the overall strategic direction, partnerships, and solution offering across key emerging channels including social, mobile, and display for the company. Prior to Responsys, Michael founded SuiteDialog and Conversa Marketing, a full-service email and social CRM agency that helped brands ignite conversations and cultivate relationships with customers across the social web. Conversa Marketing, was acquired by StrongMail Systems in 2010. Before branching out on his own, Michael served as chief marketing officer for Epsilon, a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven marketing services. Michael's other key marketing leadership roles include CMO at Bigfoot Interactive, vice president of strategic development at CNET Networks, Inc., and vice president of marketing at ZDNet. Michael received a B.B.A. and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.

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