In an era when the customer has real-time access to a plethora of product information, advertisements sometimes have little to no effect. Therefore, retailers have had to become more creative in targeting ads toward individuals across all media, especially social networks, such as Facebook. With millions of people visiting social networks on a daily basis, ad agencies can analyze information from personal profiles to generate customized ads targeted to each potential customer.
myThings is an ad agency that uses data to craft personalized ad campaigns for brands. The ad provider is one of the first 20 companies officially certified to be included in Facebook’s real-time bidding (RTB) system, the Facebook Exchange (FBX).
According to the FBX page, all certified companies go through a technical qualification process to ensure they have the technology to participate in the program. With this qualification, myThings has the ability to serve personalized ads to Facebook users via the News Feed and side panel.
“When Facebook looked at our global footprint compared to the first set of companies they beta tested, they found us to be a viable partner,” said Michael Swope, Managing Director of North America for myThings, in an interview with Retail TouchPoints. “We built out the integration, which was a long process for both sides. Once the integration was complete, we met all initial demands and standards as it relates to delivery.”
Advertisers participating in FBX use tracking cookies to observe which sites consumers frequent, and then retarget those consumers with similar ads when they log onto their Facebook accounts. As a result, visitors are reminded and encouraged to visit the sites where they were browsing previously.
Swope said he hopes the partnership benefits myThings by lowering its effective costs, specifically effective cost per thousand impressions (eCPM), driving conversions and allowing the company to buy media more efficiently. Lowering eCPMs would be particularly useful for the agency, which personalizes more than five billion impressions per month. Before the certification, myThings conducted a study on FBX’s reach. Results confirmed that the system had a 50% lower eCPA and a 50% higher post-click conversion rate than nearly all other real-time bidding traffic sources. The study also found that as many as 31% of all users seen online could only be reached on FBX.
Improving Campaign Transparency
Currently, myThings is running retargeting campaigns for companies such as Adidas, McAfee and Microsoft, and is integrated with 14 ad exchange systems, including FBX, Swope explained. “We plug [FBX] into all our active campaigns to drive additional reach and improve performance.”
Transparency and segmentation both are key to helping brands reach their advertising goals, according to Swope. The myThings platform segments individual campaigns to drive incremental sales and provides advertisers complimentary access to Tagman’s multi-attribute Visual Insights Suite (VIS), so they can quantify the success of specific ads and campaigns. Tagman and myThings developed a strategic partnership in August 2013.
“Many of our partners and clients don’t have access to a path of conversion, so they don’t know all the actual touch points that are occurring — whether it is email, paid search, display ads, etc. — and what is getting that conversion for them,” Swope said. “Often, you have merchants that are paying four times for every conversion. Tagman allows us to see the entire path to conversion from an attribution standpoint, offer that for free, and then show our clients how Facebook has impacted that path to conversion.”
As a part of FBX, myThings also enables users to customize Facebook messages by combining dynamic and static text. Additionally, the real-time targeting process is powered by predictive artificial intelligence algorithms, which analyze data to estimate the lifetime value of each individual user.
“The intent and hope is that we’re getting [our clients] great volume of conversions that we’re bringing back to their sites, as well as less costs,” Swope said. Since establishing the partnership with Facebook, “we’ve been able to lower effective cost per acquisition (eCPA), which is the ultimate goal for many of our clients.”