Facebook advertising and CRM converge

The 2013 Digital Marketer Report is coming soon and it’s chock full of analytical insight to help marketers maximize opportunities and ROI. Here’s an excerpt from the social section to help you get the most from your Facebook advertising and email marketing campaigns.

Facebook has had quite a year. From General Motors pulling its advertising to Facebook’s highly anticipated initial public offering, the market has watched intently to see what Facebook will do next. Facebook answered a lot of questions by focusing its efforts on mobile and launching more ad units than marketers realistically could keep up with. Facebook has stayed the course by not offering advertisers standard ad units seen on most other networks, but has also listened to marketers and now allows advertisers to place ads in the Newsfeed and also on mobile. Facebook also has made strides in helping advertisers to better measure the ROI from paid media, and although many marketers are still happy knowing that Facebook advertising helps to boost “engagement” levels, even more are satisfied that they can report accurately on return on ad spend (ROAS) across the network.

Although the direct attribution of dollars to ad spend likely will be more difficult for Facebook to prove than Google, advertisers have seen their cost per click (CPC) go down on Facebook in 2012 and the overall value of their campaigns increase with new ad units, plus greater focus on mobile and “addressable” advertising.

In the fall of 2012, Facebook pulled two products out of beta that immediately differentiated its advertising offering. Facebook Exchange and Facebook Custom Audiences allow advertising on Facebook to be “addressable” for the first time. With The Facebook Exchange (commonly known as FBX), marketers now can retarget Website browsers with highly relevant and timely ads (based on a cookie match from the Website to Facebook). Custom Audiences allows the targeting of ads to specific Facebook users (files of email addresses or phone numbers are uploaded to Facebook, and Facebook matches the data to Facebook user IDs and enables those IDs to be targeted).

Facebook advertising has long been the focus of criticism by marketers and agencies alike due to the “top of the funnel” nature of Facebook as a destination. Do people go to Facebook to buy products or to see what’s going on with their friends? FBX and Custom Audiences help bridge this gap as marketers now have a way to reach their desired audiences online — as long as they are part of the billion-plus users that Facebook boasts. Retargeting has been a tried and true form of display advertising for years — and adding Facebook to the mix gives marketers the best shot of reaching their consumers online. Thus far, the results have been very positive. Custom Audiences brings email marketing and Facebook advertising together in new and interesting ways since marketers now can use Facebook as a channel to amplify the reach of email messages and also to give their messages another chance of being seen by their customers. A common use case is to try to re-engage “inactive” email subscribers with Facebook ads and entice them back to the company’s Website or email program. Before Custom Audiences, this practice was nearly impossible to employ at scale digitally.

Example of email sent to subscribers:

Example of complementary Facebook ad served to email subscribers using Facebook Custom Audiences:

Now marks the first time that email marketers and owners of the “customer” have needed to think strategically about Facebook advertising. As Facebook advertising moves to a medium where brands can reach customers, and not just anonymous prospects, it will become more important for CRM teams to get involved and help to manage these interactions.

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