Credit: Marcin Wichary via CIO
Facebook last week detailed a number of initiatives meant to help it form a more cohesive strategy for implementing its arsenal of recently acquired advertising technology.
"It has taken us some time to figure out what we uniquely offer to the world," Brian Boland, vice president of ad tech at Facebook, said during a media briefing at the company's headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif., last week.
Boland says the company wants to "reconnect the pieces" of the ad tech it acquired and built, and explain how they fit together to form a clear vision for Facebook's future. Facebook reframed its ad tech products to better enable advertisers and publishers to reach their target audiences and accurately measure the effectiveness of the ads it serves on Facebook and on the Web.
Facebook's People-Based Marketing
"People-based marketing" is the new name of the game for Facebook, according to Boland, and it's pulling out all the stops to give advertisers and publishers more confidence that the social network's tools can help grow their businesses.
"This will help you understand everything you'll see us do for the next couple of years," Boland says. "Every product you see us come out with on the advertising side will hang in this framework."
Facebook serves different interests, sometimes narrow and specific to Facebook, other times much more broad in the digital space, and the company has no plans to combine its suite of ad tech businesses into a single platform.
"There are certain tools that advertisers need to run all their digital that are independent of what you do on Facebook," Boland told CIO.com in a follow-up interview. "The tools we're building here will enable marketers to have a comparable view of all their different publishers."
However, the most difficult challenge for Facebook and any other online business that sells ads across multiple devices is measurement. "We think the current systems are fundamentally outdated," Boland says.
Facebook believes it made progress on this front, and it is now taking a more direct approach to how it pursues ad dollars from publishers and brands.
Facebook Ad Tech and ROI
Boland says businesses shouldn't advertise on Facebook if they're not sure of the ROI. "Don't spend a dollar unless you know that dollar is delivering ROI," he says.
However, a robust CRM system is required if marketers want to reach the right individuals and then match their online and offline activities to track sales. That's where Facebook thinks it can help.
The advertising and publishing industries have invested billions of dollars in CRM, but they still struggle with getting the most value from the data, according to David Jakubowski, head of ad tech at Facebook. "What do I do with that big data? These [Facebook] tools...enable that at scale, from personalization through to reach and measurement," Jakubowski says.
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