Facebook adds data helping brands see offline sales

If you haven’t heard of Facebook Atlas, you will likely hear plenty about it in the near future. Facebook Atlas is the popular social media platform’s ad server that reaches outside the boundaries of Facebook’s website and apps. Facebook Atlas recently received a couple important updates that we delve into below.

Facebook’s Offline Actions

Facebook announced the debut of Offline Actions, a tool that empowers marketers to upload their own unique point-of-sale information that can be viewed with ad campaigns. The addition of Offline Actions will likely be quite helpful to traditional brick and mortar businesses as well as companies that provide packaged goods. Offline Actions is a measurement-oriented tool that helps advertisers better understand if their Facebook Atlas campaigns actually spur offline sales. Facebook Atlas campaigns include ads through an array of websites and publishers. Before the addition of Offline Actions, businesses could only access this critically important offline sales data if their promotions ran on Facebook’s mobile app and/or Facebook’s website.

Facebook’s Path to Conversion

Facebook has also implemented a metric referred to as “Path to Conversion”. This tool helps marketers gain a better understanding as to whether advertisements on desktop computers, tablets and smartphones truly led to digital sales. As an example, the Path to Conversion tool makes it possible to compare two mobile advertisements with a mobile advertisement that is followed by a desktop promotional advertisement. The Path to Conversion empowers business owners, managers, and marketers to determine how actual real-world people (rather than cookies) view advertisements on an array of web-enabled computing devices. Facebook Atlas will also allow marketers to use video ads on the website and app by the beginning of April.

Facebook’s Updates are Symbolic of the Push to Measure Digital-offline Data

Both Path to Conversion and Offline Actions will help marketers improve their Facebook Atlas campaigns ahead of their actual launch. These updates will also empower marketers to modify their Facebook Atlas campaigns in real-time. These additions are representative of a greater overarching trend toward the measurement of digital-offline data. Foursquare and a handful of other tech vendors recently debuted products that are designed to address the sales-attribution question as well.

Facebook’s Additions are the Results of Extensive Research

Facebook personnel conducted extensive research for each of the endeavors described above. The company uncovered all sorts of helpful information during its studies. When researching ad effectiveness, Facebook found extensive bad inventory on third-party sites operating with its LiveRail video platforms. As a result, Facebook has shut down three-quarters of the inventory. Another example is the data uncovered by the popular auto manufacturer, Mini. Mini determined that nearly one-third of all the company’s conversions were initiated on a desktop but converted as a result of advertisements on mobile devices.

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