Facebook Using Offline Data to Target Online Ads

Contributed by: Wesley Young

Facebook

Ad Age reports that Facebook has started a new strategy for targeting ads to its users. The social network is working with big data firms Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon to garner data from brand loyalty programs and match them with Facebook user profiles.

This approach will allow companies to very specifically target online ads to Facebook users based on their offline shopping habits. For example, when a consumer makes a purchase at a grocery or drug store using their rewards card, Facebook’s advertisers will be able to target ads to that consumer when they visit the social network:

“The targeting would hypothetically enable Coca-Cola to target to teenagers who’ve bought soda in the last month, or Pampers to show ads to North Carolina residents who’ve recently bought baby products, since Facebook’s own array of demographic and interest-based targeting options can be added to further refine audience segments,” says Ad Age.

Facebook is currently only in the testing phase for this method of ad targeting, but in the future local businesses with rewards programs could certainly find the initiative useful. It will be interesting to see how both advertisers and consumers respond, and how much the program can grow given user privacy concerns.

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