Facebook debuts a new marketing tool called Audience Insights, available within Ads Manager.
The goal of Audience Insights is to help marketers figure out how to best tailor their marketing messages to reach current and potential consumers across the social network. The new tool allows marketers to acquire insights into three types of consumers: current target consumers (created in Custom Audiences), general Facebook users, and users who are connected to a particular Page or event.
With this addition to Ads Manager, "Facebook is opening their data to become one of the most comprehensive planning tools available today," says Bryan Maleszyk, director of strategy at digital agency Isobar, commenting on the new function.
As the image above shows, marketers can now get a 360-degree view of consumers' Facebook behavior, including demographics (age and gender, lifestyle, relationship status, work position, etc.), Page likes, location, and language, as well as Facebook usage (how often they log onto Facebook and what devices they use to log on).
In conjunction with Partner Categories, marketers can even track consumers' purchase activities both in-store and online. "Users now have the ability to target campaigns to people on Facebook based on the products and brands they buy across both desktop and mobile.," a Facebook representative explains to ClickZ.
So how can you get the most out of this new tool? "Marketers should (and will) start to leverage these insights in campaign planning," says Maleszyk. "[Audience Insights] has the ability to reduce the dependency on third-party technology research firms, as well as primary qualitative and quantitative market research. Planning communications may become a lot more agile."
At the same time, however, Maleszyk points out that if all planners use the same analytics, agencies that have their own proprietary research data and tools may have a competitive edge.
And while the aggregation of this data may bring up some privacy concerns, Facebook says Audience Insights provides all its information in an anonymous manner. The tool surfaces information that Facebook users have already posted on the social platform, along with information provided by select third-party partners.
Custom Audience and Partner Categories use data from select third parties, including Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. However, no personal information is shared between Facebook, the third parties, and advertisers, notes the Facebook rep.
Audience Insights will roll out within Ads Manager for U.S. marketers immediately. A global rollout is expected to follow in the coming months.
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Yuyu Chen is a reporter at ClickZ. Her work has appeared in Local East Village, New York Daily News and Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce website. Yuyu received her M.A. in Business and Economic Reporting from New York University in May, 2013.
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