Using Facebook Custom Audiences to find the right audience

Used by over 90% of businesses, there is no doubt that email is still one of the most popular channels with marketers. That said, as social networks, instant messaging and in app push notifications become more important, the increasing amount of channels means that people may begin to move away from email as a communication channel. Recent developments such as Unroll.me and Gmail Primary inbox illustrate this change even further – but, just because someone doesn’t see or engage with your email, doesn’t mean you can’t leverage that data in other ways.Every business is sitting on a mountain of valuable data – a CRM system alone will have at least some of the following: email subscribers, current customers, dormant customers, loyalty scheme members, customer at risk of churn and so on – wouldn’t it be great to make use of this in other channels?

Facebook Custom AudiencesOne way to leverage this is via Custom Audiences on Facebook. Along with FBX (Facebook Exchange- a Facebook ad purchasing platform, retargeting users on Facebook based on 1st and 3rd party cookie data), it has been an integral part of Facebook’s transformation in recent months into a significant always-on channel for marketers.

Custom Audiences allow you to target specific users on Facebook based on existing CRM data. For example, data such as email or phone numbers are hashed and securely uploaded to Facebook where it is matched to the data Facebook already has. Facebook then allows targeting of these user segments with ads on Facebook.

What’s important is that Custom Audiences target the user and not the cookie. If I’m engaging with your brand across different touch points – desktop, mobile, tablet, even multiple desktop devices – it’s important to be able to realise I am the same user, and reach me across these devices while delivering a consistent and tailored experience. This is reflected in Adobe’s the 2014 Digital Trends report: which showed that 20% of in house marketers and 17% of agency marketers feel that customer experience is the foremost opportunity in 2014 and custom audiences allow you to easily deliver a tailored experience to a particular custom segment, for example the ability to show new customers a different offer to existing customers.

A similar shift is also being seeing in the tracking space with players like Facebook & Twitter’s proprietary tracking systems being based on users and not cookies via apps which are logged in constantly across devices. A Facebook study showed that while for a single day the relationship between cookies and people was 93% accurate, when looked at over a six week period for half of the population measured, the one-to-one relationship between cookie and person was broken, distorting the measurement of audience reach and frequency with Facebook promising to ‘roll out a new people-based measurement capability soon.’ –my guess is a cookie/user hybrid which will allow cross device measurement and techniques such as view through tracking on mobile which have previously been technically challenging.

Building on their initial success Custom Audiences now come in many forms: lookalike audiences which analyse your custom audiences and generate a new audience with similar traits which contains none of the original members, perfect for acquiring new customers. In addition to this there are also Website and Mobile App Custom Audiences which capture Facebook ids from users visiting your site/app to create Custom Audiences.

…So how can using Custom Audiences help your business?

Facebook Custom AudiencesFirstly, prevent wastage or irritating customers by excluding Custom Audiences that contain customers you don’t want to target – this technique is especially valuable to Gambling/Gaming clients or anyone focused solely on acquisition. Using Adobe Media Optimizer it’s also possible to automate the upload of your audiences so you have this data in real time and to allow your team to focus on strategy and creative. If you’re investing heavily in mobile apps, but still struggle with mobile app ROI, you can use Custom Audiences to retarget people who take actions in our app to better connect the dots between customers who use your mobile apps, but may purchase on other devices.

For example, a customer may use your mobile app to research hotels for a business trip, but is required to purchase through a corporate portal via their laptop. With Custom Audiences, a travel marketer could present this person with a desktop-based incentive offer on desktop, driving them to complete the purchase they originally researched on the mobile app.

A recent example of a customer who used Custom Audiences to increase its ROI is a US education company helping individuals achieve educational and career goals. Through using Custom Audiences, the company’s lookalike or ‘new’ audiences saw a 199% increase in Revenue per Click (RPC) and 59% decrease in Cost per Lead (CPL). Lookalike audiences that are also leveraging Facebook native targeting had a better CTR (447% higher), RPC (51% higher), and CPL (46% lower), with the likes and interests enabling increased tailoring of creative to the appropriate interest groups.

To increase online sales, Adobe is also working closely with Lazada, a Rocket Internet venture operating in Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines. The E-commerce retailer relies heavily on the widerange of native Facebook targeting capabilities and results from Custom Audiences, Lookalike Audiences and Website Custom Audiences show especially strong performance. In particular, early results have already shown that newly introduced Website Custom Audiences had extremely positive results with an increase of 202% in ROI and a 66% lower Cost per Order (CPO) compared to average. In contrast, only using generic targeting led to a 10% higher CPO and a decrease of 38% in ROI for Lazada, demonstrating the impact of tailored targeting.

Lazada performance data with Custom Audiences

Lazada performance data with Custom Audiences

These are just two examples but the possibilities are endless, with an abundance of opportunities and reward for creativity, smart segmentation and testing. Custom Audiences allow you to reach your customers on mobile where your traditional retargeting cannot, while combining with Facebook demographic and 3rd party data to create a relevant tailored customer experience. Custom Audiences are a powerful way of targeting and leveraging existing data, allowing your businesses to reach the right people at the right time. At Adobe, we can help you leverage these so contact us know to learn how you can take retargeting to the next level.

Russell has worked in Social Media for over 4 years, with experience on both the paid and non-paid side. Since joining Adobe 2 years ago he has focused on Social Advertising and holds the position of Senior Account Manager, working with key clients in verticals such as Travel, Gambling & Retail to ensure their paid Facebook, Twitter & Linked In campaigns are successful and generate return on their investment.

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