What Should Marketers Do About Facebook Third Party Data Changes?
April 4, 2018 § Leave a comment
The big stat: 83% of female internet users and 75% of male internet users are Facebook users. There are 207 million Facebook users in the United States.
Are advertisers concerned about the Facebook scandal? We should. Some 45% Facebook users say they are going to use Facebook less. And let’s be real here. We need Facebook users and their data. Because without the data, it could limit our ability to target specific audiences on Facebook and Instagram.
One agency exec James Douglas, head of media at Reprise, a digital agency owned by Interpublic commented, “If advertisers were suddenly unable to target certain segments, because of regulation—such as political affinities, income or wealth accumulation, or race/age/gender—that might challenge advertisers to look elsewhere for options.” We rely on data that can be anonymized and aggregated, and doesn’t infringe on users’ privacy.
As advertisers, we have been able to target audiences on Facebook using three sets of data –
- Data from Facebook, which collects user data and profile info.
- Data from the advertiser, such as email lists used in look-alike audiences.
- The Holy Grail Data from 3rd Party providers like Experian and Acxiom who provide purchasing behavior information.
With the new changes Facebook is implementing, marketers will be limited to using only their own data and Facebook data. The third party data (from groups like Experian and Acxiom) has provided behaviors such as income, people buying a house or people having a baby. Facebook has also announced it is dropping audience reach estimates for custom audiences.
So what should we be doing to get ready for these changes?
- Rely on your own data more. Marketers may need to depend on their own data and possibly find similar audiences on Facebook and target them. Growing your own email list and using that to define a look-alike audience has always been possible. With reach estimates going away, it will be necessary to watch campaigns closely to see the audience reach delivered. Over time Facebook will figure out how to expand their data.
- Don’t step away from Facebook, but think about expanding your social media platform usage to insure reach. Marketers need to include more media than just Facebook in the media mix. Now’s the time to think about Pandora, Spotify, YouTube, Waze, Instagram and more.
- Use Instagram more if it fits your demographic. Instagram fits a young adult audience, it’s growing and currently represents 28% of Facebook mobile dollars. No doubt it will continue to grow in older age groups as Facebook fatigue sets in. Instagram purchasing is going to give marketers an enlarged audience and great info on buyers.
- Don’t panic. Facebook is not going away even if some users begin to use it less. It is the Gorilla. In 2018, the number of Facebook users in the United States is 207 million.