Why Facebook is a Marketing Automation Powerhouse

By Dennis Yu Comment

Screenshot 2015-02-13 06.29.44 (1)We told you Facebook was getting into marketing automation.

Let’s look at some of the specifics and examine the implications.

The multi-product ads, product recommendations API, and dynamic product ads are Facebook’s first foray into real-time recommendations. They’re going beyond the caveman-like logic of last product page visited or simple website retargeting.

You’ll be able to drive ads to customers at different points in the funnel, not just cart abandoners. And because you’re loading up your product catalog and using optimized CPM, Facebook can optimize which creative to show when.

Thus, I believe Facebook will bypass the drag and drop “campaign builder” GUI and instead have you load up goals, creatives, and targets. Then Facebook can do the rest, creating the right sequences for customers at different points in the flow.

Mobile-dominant means conversion dominant

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Mobile throws a wrench in traditional conversion attribution models, whether last-click, cookie-based, or even faux science fractional models. 67 percent of customers continue their shopping on another device. So if you can’t go beyond your tracking code, you’re missing the sales.

So only Google and Facebook have logged in user bases big enough to track these folks to the sale. With Facebook winning the daily logged in user game and 4 of the 6 most popular mobile apps, they stand to win here.

And this means the slow death of the 3rd party attribution vendors, unless they can get themselves sold to AOL or Google (like Converto or Adometry).

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Marketing automation is about sequencing message delivery based on what someone has done or not done.

With the video ad units, we can show messages based on if someone has seen a particular video or not. While you can do this already with clever use of custom audiences– inclusion and exclusion of video audiences, Facebook has automated this now.

Sequencing beyond socialScreenshot 2015-02-13 07.06.44

When you can tie in web actions and email sequence logic, your ability to walk users down a purchase funnel becomes even stronger. I’m surprised that the marketing automation (and general email marketing vendors — same thing) haven’t been more aggressive here in integrating logic.

The average Facebook ad targets 6 million people, says Facebook.

That’s a far cry from truly personalized marketing, where we have different, tight audiences for each creative. So until Facebook and their ecosystem of vendors is able to get this level of granularity of content production and audience segmentation, no amount of technology or data collection will solve the problem.

Marketing automation is the confluence of the CRM and the CMS — the system that has the customers and the system that has the content. That means we have to shift from reach and frequency buying (mass impressions) to evergreen, user-action driven campaigns.

I can’t wait to see what holds in store for us in the next 18 months, since all the tools we need to pull this off are already in our hands.

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