Facebook today announced that it is bringing even more ways for marketers to “reach the right customers on Facebook” by allowing them to enhance ad targeting on the network using third-party data.
Marketers and businesses that already work with third-party data vendors Datalogix, Epsilon, Acxiom, BlueKai, and others (it’s US-only for now) will soon be able to use the data services they provide to create more targeted campaigns on Facebook.
Facebook is working with these third parties to create pre-defined targeting categories like “soda drinkers” or “auto-intenders”. With today’s news, marketers will soon be able to show ads to people on Facebook that have shown an interest in purchasing a new car, for example.
This is an important step for Facebook as it attempts to make its ad ever-more relevant. Businesses with in-store loyalty cards and programs, as another example, would be able to anonymously match information associated with customer accounts, like email addresses or phone numbers, to customers’ Facebook accounts and target at will.
That same business could analyse a real-world customer’s purchase history and suggest highly relevant products – using Facebook advertising – based on this.
Foreseeing the familiar concerns from the privacy conscious, Facebook has detailed the data exchange between itself and marketers here (or rather lack of) and the process involved in opting-out of such third-party targeting.
This news follows comments from Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg last month when he suggested that his company would be “improving targeting and relevance” of ad products that “aren’t just about links and text and images”.