“There’s the data used to evaluate the reach and efficacy of a campaign, like CTRs and brand lift,” Ghazi said. “Then there are the data signals that are broader and more difficult to capture. They can shape the direction or timing of a campaign, or give brands an idea of a new target audience.”
DataSift CEO Tim Barker said the point is to bring data to more of the decisions CMOs have to make. The company does this in part by making the process easier and cheaper than traditional data-collection methods like focus groups.
“What you learn from the audience in Facebook can be applied to any part of the marketing life cycle,” Barker said
Often, that Facebook data informs the timing of campaigns, as well as the placement and targeting of ad creative.
Facebook data helped an ad agency with a CPG client understand when people were actually eating their potato chips.
“Because CPGs aren’t selling direct to consumers, they don’t have loads of said about who is eating the product and where it’s being consumed,” Barker said. “They did focus groups and surveys, but behavior is really hard to do in traditional focus group research.”
The chips were being advertised around a sporting event, so the agency wanted to figure out how people were consuming chips around that event. It collected 180,000 interactions and discovered its most engaged segment on social wasn’t 18- to 24-year-old men as it had previously thought, but 35- to 64-year-old women, who talked about the snacks on Facebook six hours before the game.
Using that information, the ad agency completely re-thought what its ad creative should look like and the target audience for those ads, Barker explained. It also shifted its budget earlier in the day before the game.
DataSift’s analysis has its limits.
For the chips brand, it can’t measure what impact those changes made – except in a broader, aggregated manner. Facebook topic data isn’t about quantifying the impact of seeing an ad or attributing back to a sale. For that, brands can run ad campaigns on Facebook and use its conversion attribution tools. Or they can combine their other digital media buys with standalone measurement tools. The point here is insights.
As DataSift works to increase the use of Facebook data, WPP Data Alliance has slightly different goals. Ghazi’s big task this year is to look beyond established markets like North America and Europe and move to collecting and using data in emerging markets like Africa, India and Asia.
“We need to have the same kind of data equity in the emerging markets,” Ghazi said.