On Wednesday Oct. 22 I had the fortunate opportunity to attend the Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) Conference. Here’s a quick summary of the top seven things that marketers can benefit from today.

Closing the Loop

Twenty years ago Internet marketers made the promise that the web would close the marketing  loop from ad exposure to purchase. Facebook continues to show its commitment to addressing this issue. By working with an advertiser’s loyalty database, Facebook can create two groups: One that sees ads and another one that does not. By matching the email address used in Facebook and the loyalty program, marketers can then measure how much one group purchased versus the other. Digital media has always provided obstacles to such a test as users have multiple browsers on multiple devices (computer, phone, and tablet) so it’s been impossible to obtain a clean test of a non-exposed group.

Click and CTR Don’t Equal Sales

It’s no surprise that clicks don’t equal sales but the most interesting thing I learned is that optimizing to clicks is actually detrimental to sales. Clickers are 10-times more expensive than non-clickers and 90% of the buyers of a product do not click on ads. Brands should optimize toward known online conversions and/or to “reach” of a highly targeted audience. Agencies and brands need to drop their addiction to clicks.

Custom Audiences Rules

Using “owned data” is proving to be the best source to generate results, i.e. targeting groups created from website visitors, newsletters, app users and loyalty databases, etc. The more marketers can expand their “owned” media databases, the better. The conversion rates for owned media and look-alikes are significantly more effective providing faster and more efficient results. The creation of app campaigns with social signs on is one of the best and quickest ways to increase owned data.

Reach and Frequency

Once you identify your best customers, run reach plays to target them and people who look like them. Facebook’s Reach Tools have proven to be very powerful in maximizing ad exposure to core audience targets and delivering results.


Video continues to be a major priority for Facebook. Video views grew by more than 50% on Facebook from May through July, and since June there have been more than one billion video views per day. The new auto play feature is now available across all videos in the U.S. and is dramatically increasing the length of view, most likely because people can see the video playing before clicking on it to start the audio. In creating videos, the first three seconds are critical as people decide very quickly on whether to watch a video or to keep scrolling through their newsfeed.


Mobile is hot and getting hotter: 85% of the time on Facebook is spent on mobile and about 50% of its users only use Facebook on a mobile device which explains why one in every five minutes on mobile is spent on Facebook. Further, 66% of Facebook’s total ad dollars is from mobile and its new Local Awareness Ad units should be a major hit for brick and mortar advertisers. There is also a current dichotomy of time spent in mobile vs. dollars allocated. Twenty-five percent of our media time is in mobile but only 11% of our media dollars are spent there, i.e. mobile is highly efficient as supply outstrips demand.

Pillars of Facebook Remain the Same

Facebook is known for frequently changing direction, so it was comforting to hear that their three core pillars are the same from last year and they plan to keep them constant for several years. Those pillars are People, Deep Engagement and Proven Results. The core competitive advantage is people. In other words, target ads to people and not to cookies. Cookies are dying mainly because they do not work on mobile devices.

Summary of Actionable Items

1) Custom Audiences Rule. Expand your owned data through apps and other methods to retarget consumers and expand and nurture your connection to your best audiences.
2) Continuously create look-alikes from owned data to run smarter, more efficient media and bring more people into your world. Think of advertising less as short-term awareness blasts and more as frequent meaningful touches of the right audience, more like CRM.
3) CPC and CTR have been dead for some time. Let’s move on and breathe better metrics.
4) Create more video content and place in auto play in front of your best target audiences.
5) Capitalize on the current efficiencies and massive growth of mobile.
6) Use Facebook Reach tools to target your best customers and look-alikes.
7) Target people, not cookies!

John Bohan is the CEO and founder of Socialtyze, a social marketing and technology firm that John Bohanspecializes in helping top brands and agencies to assess the value of their social marketing efforts and then using data to execute relevant, innovative strategies that stimulate brand advocacy and sales.

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