So you’re on Facebook looking at someone’s baby pictures, and suddenly you notice an ad that’s actually relevant to you. Perhaps the ad is from a store where you shop all the time (and may have signed up for their loyalty card), but never got around to clicking their “Like” button.
Now – stay with us on this one – imagine that very same relevant ad, from a store where you shop all the time, went something like this:
“Hope you’re lovin’ that new shirt you bought last Tuesday! Click here to see some great pants we think would go well with it. And don’t forget, only $43 more to spend until you get your VIP 1-Day Savings Pass! So hurry back! You’re only 6 miles away, so what are you waiting for? Cashier Deb is looking forward to ringing you up again. Oh, and are Jenny and David ready for school tomorrow? We’re also having a sale on children’s shoes…even red ones, just like Jenny likes!”
The initial reaction would be to see who’s following you. Not on Twitter, but literally. Well, Facebook announced that it will offer the capability for marketers to integrate customer data with Facebook’s user data in order to facilitate better ad delivery without revealing personal information.
Put the words ‘Facebook,’ ‘privacy,’ ‘ad’ and ‘corporation’ in the same press release and you have a simple recipe for a world class outrage-fest. But hold the anger – we think this is actually going to be great for consumers.
Many companies offer unique product, content and promotions to their Facebook users, so the better able they are to serve us with ads for brands/stores we actually like, the better for everyone, right?
Consumers have the ultimate love/hate relationship with Facebook – without any seeming sense of irony, we complain about Facebook design changes and privacy issues on Facebook itself. It is completely understandable to be vigilant about monitoring companies with whom we share personal information (even if it sometimes moves into tin foil hat conspiracy theories).
Now, instead of laughing (or posting) about how mismatched the ads sometimes seem, we’ll be busy clicking on them and accessing great deals on products we may have purchased anyway.
For marketers, this is a home run – many of our clients already have terrific results with Facebook advertising and now they can close the gap between social media and database marketing. Instead of targeting people who like Sesame Street, Facebook is going to make it possible to reach a customer who bought an Elmo doll last Tuesday. And that is something even Oscar the Grouch can smile about.