Greenville, South Carolina — March 30, 2018 — On Wednesday, Facebook announced that it would be ending the ad-targeting option called Partner Categories, where advertisers can target specific groups of Facebook users by using offline demographic and behavioral data such as purchase history. This data is collected via 3rd party data brokers such as Oracle Corp., Acxiom Corp., and Experian PLC, which Facebook is now cutting ties with.
Partner Categories has been a popular and widely used tool particularly among dealership groups and the automotive industry. So with the elimination of this ad-targeting category and the end of partnerships with large data brokers, DOM360 CMO, Ryan Alford, is assuring dealers and the automotive industry that there are other areas and opportunities to explore.
“First-party data just became even more important and valuable,” according to Alford, “this is the time for dealerships and other advertisers to start using their own CRM and DMS that contain useful data like contact information, site-interaction, and previous purchases.”
While some dealerships have been doing things like look-a-like modeling most have only scraped the surface of what is possible. DOM360 is rolling out solutions for dealerships now that uses machine learning to predict new purchases and service opportunities. These predictions are not based purely on things like lease termination dates or other data points that have long been in play, but by a truly advanced algorithm that is highly relevant to the customer.
Alford goes on to say, “while third party data sources are on the way out Custom Audiences are still a prime opportunity for maximizing the effectiveness of your Facebook Campaigns.“
Custom Audiences allow marketers to use their own contact lists to reach those customers with targeted ads on Facebook. These lists can also be used for look-alike targeting for gaining new customers. This change will lead to more opportunities for Custom Audiences and a more thorough approach to vetting the data sources. Alford also expects to see new data business models emerge that combine sources into “Mega” Custom Audiences that are known for their quality and conversion rates.
“When one door closes another one opens.” Alford adds, “Over time there will likely be alternative ways to get behavioral targeting through Facebook but until that time there is an opportunity to consider channels that have this capability now.”
LinkedIn, with close to 500 million users, is an untapped opportunity for dealerships as well as B2B and B2C brands. The targeting opportunities are vast and with the right form of content, this is an untapped source. Twitter has incredible behavioral targeting ability combined with keyword targeting and there are numerous ways to leverage the over 300 million active users on the platform.
“I think the natural reaction to this news is to look at the downside, particularly with brands that were only using one part of the Swiss Army Knife in Facebook. But the reality is consumers are not flocking off the platform in droves just yet and Facebook remains an extremely powerful source for marketing your dealership or brand. From Marketplace to Custom Audiences to other platforms just remember this, diversification is almost always a good thing,” concludes Alford.
DOM360 is an award-winning full-service digital agency that specializes in the automotive industry. In-house capabilities include a full suite of marketing services including Dealership Planning & Strategy, Website Development & Optimization, Social Media Management & Advertising, SEO & SEM, Video Creative & Production, and Media Planning & Buying. Ranked as one of the fastest growing privately held companies in America on the Inc. 5000 report, DOM360 has grown to over 70 employees with locations in Greenville, South Carolina and Boca Raton, Florida.
Ryan Alford, [email protected]
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