January is typically a time of reflection: reflection on the past year as well as on the year to come. Applying this to digital marketing, I can’t stop circulating around something that stuck with me from the 2017 Digital Summit DC.
Eric Shutt of iStrategyLabs presented “5 Trends for Digital Agencies (and Brands) to Be Ready for in 2020”, the first of them being “Convergence & Consolidation”.
These two words were all that was needed: from that point on, all I noticed were the small Facebook updates and how the platform had been gradually absorbing the functionality of analytics and data tracking.
Marketers have had limited access to campaign results in Facebook’s Business Manager platform for some time. (Facebook itself would be remiss if it allowed you to run paid advertisements without promise of results!) The first step in this platform’s shift toward more advanced data tracking started in 2012, with the release of Facebook Pixel. This update gave advertisers a new wealth of data within the platform, allowing for data-driven targeted audiences. For example, marketers now had the option of creating audiences from onsite actions such as: page views, cart abandonment, goal completions, etc. This new in-platform picture of user behavior allowed for successful “micro-moment” campaign creation.
Recently, Facebook has taken the utilization of this pixel code to the next level and now, in line with Google, offers Facebook Analytics. This allows marketers to “understand and optimize your complete customer journey across mobile, web, bots and more.” Previously, Google notoriously painted this complete picture most accurately.
As advertisers, we’re running a variety of campaigns across a variety of mediums, tracking UX and monitoring soft and hard conversion points (to name a few things). This is tracked with Google Analytics, which, due to their advanced data-centric model, is exceedingly the most accurate way to holistically measure the success of campaigns. However, with a better insight into behavioral trends of users, will Facebook eventually have the capacity to offer robust data more enticing to markets?
Circling back, the trend of technology continuing to consolidate as we move into 2020, ultimately provides a brighter and more opportunistic light for marketers. As far as Facebook Analytics rising above Google Analytics as the preferred reporting platform, time will tell… However, with the current utilization of both platforms we’re able to most clearly define our target audience’s complete journey; which allows for personalized creative, copy and usability features in both our website and our advertisements, ultimately connecting customers to our clients’ products faster – and more smoothly – than ever before!