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Facebook investors and social media marketing strategists are likely to be smiling this week. Facebook announced another enhancement to their advertising platform in order to reach the billion consumers that are active on Facebook.com.
If you are an investor in Facebook, you are aware of how many nay-sayers fault Facebook from not coming up with ways to monetize their platform. I laugh at their criticism because in my mind, Facebook is taking careful but steady steps it needs to morph its reach into a cash cow!
The announcement demonstrates Facebook's commitment to get a larger slice of the digital advertising pie dominated by Google Adwords. The announcement of "Partner Categories" will allow marketers to better target in-market car shoppers.
According to the official announcement:
"Today we’re launching partner categories, a new way to target ads to more categories of people. For example, a local car dealership can now show ads to people who are likely in the market for a new car who live near their dealership. To date, advertisers have been able to show ads to people based on their expressed interests on Facebook. Now with partner categories, they can also show ads to people on Facebook based on the products and brands they buy across both desktop and mobile.Partner categories uses data from select third parties including Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon. No personal information is shared between Facebook, third parties or advertisers. Partner categories work the same way all targeting on Facebook works. The advertiser only knows the size of the audience and can’t access any information about individuals included in a category. For more on this, see our post here."
The screenshot above shows an example of how marketing strategies can be created to leverage the Polk data called DLX Auto. The increased granularity of Partner Categories will surely increase the revenue that Facebook can generate from its massive user database.
Specifically for car dealers, Facebook Partner Categories will allow market entrepreneurs to be the first to get their message in front of local consumers who spend hours each day on Facebook. The digital advertising team at PCG has found great success with Facebook advertising and this enhancement will likely increase the creativity behind new car marketing campaigns.
A comprehensive digital marketing strategy should include testing new advertising platforms like Facebook Partner Categories and digital radio like Pandora. Do not dismiss the opportunities created by "Big Data" and this is one of them.
The abrupt canceling of Facebook advertising last year was a big story in the news just before Facebook's IPO. It looks like GM is realizing the follow of their ways.
You can read about Hyundai's success with Facebook in this Wall Street Journal article. An exerpt from the article says that GM is cautiously testing Facebook Partner Categories:
"General Motors, for one, is returning to advertising on Facebook on a trial basis after walking a way nearly a year ago. Using the new tool, the auto maker is targeting younger buyers who might be interested in its Chevrolet Sonic subcompact car, said two people familiar with the matter. The Sonic promotions are only exploratory at this point and GM remains cautious after dropping Facebook as an advertising resource in May 2012."
If your dealership needs a comprehensive digital marketing audit or strategy, give me a call. Now back to checking my friends updates on Facebook! Oh look, there is an ad that caught my attention.