IBM Partners With Facebook to Improve Targeting

A new partnership with IBM will allow marketers to target more specifically on Facebook.

Facebook’s massive user base creates a staggering 2.5 million pieces of content every minute. Through features like Custom Audiences, advertisers will be able to take data gleaned from those posts and combine it with insights from IBM’s marketing cloud, creating “supernovas” of customer data. That deeper understanding of users’ interests, opinions, and expectations will allow them to serve the most relevant possible ads.

“The cornerstone of the partnership is to allow companies to take data they know about their customers – things like order histories and website behavior – and connect that into Facebook retargeting,” explains Jay Henderson, director of strategy for IBM Commerce.

For example, after identifying Facebook users who are specifically interested in long-distance running, a fitness retailer can segment its audience based on gear preferences – shorts, as opposed to leggings or pants, say – and climate. Someone in Miami isn’t likely to want performance fleece, for example. From there, the retailer can infer products of interest.

“As consumers, we all know what bad marketing feels like – it feels like spam and you start to ignore it,” Henderson says, adding that good marketing should feel like a service because it serves the right information at the right time. “This is a big step forward in helping brands move away from spam and deliver those personalized experiences that the customers are actually going to perceive as useful, as opposed to annoying.”

Facebook’s partnership with IBM is part of a broader relationship, where the social media juggernaut will be the first partner in the new IBM Commerce THINKLab. The THINKLab is a collaboration between IBM and brands, focused on developing new technologies designed to further personalize the customer experience.

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