Direct marketers get the data they covet: Facebook metrics

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Segmenting Facebook ad responders
Segmenting Facebook ad responders

Facebook is planning to help direct marketers do what they love to do most: track who is responding to specific ads and in exactly what fashion.

Currently in beta, Facebook's new measurement tool is headed for a December launch as part of Facebook's Optimized CPM bidding system. Marketers will be able to set up the system themselves from the network's Ad Manager page by adding snippet of code to any page on their websites. When a product page or checkout page, for instance, is loaded by a customer who has clicked on a Facebook ad, the conversion gets counted in Ad Manager in any number of configurations predetermined by the advertiser.

“This is not click-through-based, it's action-based, and the advertiser determines what the action is—add to cart, registration page, checkout page,” says Facebook product manager David Baser. “You can track individual ads and monitor which users saw the ad and who converted, and use that data to tailor campaigns to specific segments.”

Baser says the new service is a response of direct marketers' desire to measure customer acquisition rates versus simple click-throughs. Fab.com, an online retailer of high-design merchandise, reported a 39% reduction in cost per acquisition in a beta test of the service. Baser claimed that the figure was near the average for all test participants.

In its initial format, the service will provide marketers with a responder report containing demographic data good for multivariate testing of different ad iterations. The intent, says Baser, is to add richer data content as the service progresses.

“We see this as a valuable tool for e-coms of all types and sizes,” Baser says. “It could be useful for a local restaurant with no online reservation system and it could be valuable to an auto manufacturer that wants to know who's using the automobile-configurer on its site.”

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