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Privacy in Facebook Ads—Why You Need First-Party Data

Advertisers on Facebook, the world’s largest social media platform, continue to feel the fallout from the release of Apple’s pro-privacy iOS 14.5 update. The disruptions to established marketing tactics have assumed many forms. One phenomenon that hasn’t been remarked upon much is the negative effect the update has had on Facebook retargeting campaigns. 

With so many users opting out of cookie tracking, rendering the IDFA (a.k.a. the Identifier for Advertisers) much less useful than before, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for businesses to reconnect with customers who are already familiar with the brand.  

One report claims that Apple’s App Tracking Transparency feature will end up costing Facebook $12.8 billion in 2022 alone. And Facebook isn’t the only company that stands to lose money. Many advertisers who relied on Facebook, and its tracking pixel, are feeling the pinch as well.

Fortunately, there are strategies to counteract the new privacy-conscious rules. Most of these are centered on the use of first-party data. 

First-Party vs. Third-Party Data

When it comes to optimizing your marketing campaigns, data is king. Old-fashioned gut feelings certainly have their place in guiding your strategies, but for pinpointing which ads are producing the best results, there’s no substitute for hard numbers. But it’s also true that not all categories of marketing data are alike—or equally useful.

One of the most important distinctions in the world of marketing analytics is the separation between first-party data and third-party data. In marketing circles there has been a lot of talk about the different types of data, but not everyone is clear on the distinctions among them. So here’s a quick overview:

First-party data – Data you collect directly from your customers: purchase history, email addresses, survey info, website visits, etc. This data, which comes from a variety of online and offline sources, includes personally identifiable information as well as anonymous data (such as total number of visitors to a webpage on a particular date). What all this information has in common is that you collected it.

Third-party data – Data that has been obtained by another organization and then transferred to your organization. It is often “processed” in some way that might lead to inaccurate conclusions—for instance, Facebook and other marketing channels claim credit for sales they extrapolate through AI, frequently resulting in misleading conversion data.

Due to iOS 14 and related privacy initiatives, third-party data has lost much of its luster over the past few years. Customer opt-outs have reduced the effectiveness of this type of data. But it would be a mistake to assume that the only practical difference between first-party and third-party data lies in the regulations that govern their collection. There are vital differences in the insights they can yield.

How Will First-Party Data Affect Ad Personalization? 

First-party data enables you to target (and retarget) your audience with confidence. A number of studies over the years have shown that the majority of consumers value personalized interaction with the brands they patronize. They don’t want to get anonymous email blasts and SMS messages, but they’re usually fine with discount offers based on past purchases, birthday promotions, and other characteristics unique to the individual. 

When you have first-party data, you can provide this type of accurate personalization. Ads can be tailored not only to the individual but to particular demographic groups as well (e.g., young adults, retirees, etc). 

AdBeacon has a variety of tools that enable you to personalize your ads accurately. Not only does it allow you to download the data gathered for lookalike audiences, it also provides offline conversion tracking to report back to the platform what the data is saying to help fill the gaps.

How Does First-Party Data Help with Scaling Ad Spend?

“Scalability” is a common corporate buzzword that refers to the ability of a company to maintain or enhance its level of performance in the face of increased workload demands. In a marketing context, scalability isn’t really achievable without accurate consumer data. Spending more and more money on ineffective ads is a failing strategy any way you want to look at it. 

But how do you identify the right audience for your ads? This is another area where AdBeacon can supply invaluable aid. By allowing you to compare one ad with another, AdBeacon gives you the data to determine which campaign is producing the best results, and with which audiences. The platform showcases the full customer journey by clicks to enable you to confirm that the purchase originated from that specific audience/ad. 

As a result, you can boost your ad spend with confidence. Without the ability to conduct this kind of comparative analysis, you’re flying in the dark.

How AdBeacon Leverages First-Party Data

AdBeacon is the platform you need to compare and contrast your launched ads and determine the “winners” among them. It does with help from a number of tools that, working in conjunction, generate the information that allows you to make truly data-driven decisions.

The benefits of AdBeacon include the capability to track full customer journeys according to parameters set by the user, rather than a third-party platform. No longer do marketers need to settle for arbitrary conversion windows or attribution models—they can be adjusted by the user to provide them with the type of data they’re looking for. 

AdBeacon can not only provide actionable data, it does this in real time. Facebook’s persistent issues with reporting delays have been well documented by this point; AdBeacon offers the solution. Based on your own data, the platform shows marketing attribution percentage and all clicks, leads, and sales tracked. This data is continuously updated to ensure that you can always take action immediately to modify your campaigns. 

Interested in learning more about AdBeacon? It’s easy to get started, and there’s no commitment. Sign up today for your 30-day free trial