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.