Kudos to Facebook for continuing to innovate. The recent release of Custom Audiences has started to bridge the gap for marketers who've been trying to find their “known” customers on Facebook. Having come from a background working in consumer analytics and digital marketing, I am all too familiar with loyalty programs, CRM databases and customer profile segmentation systems.
With the advent of Facebook advertising, the problem has become tying an individual’s information from these systems to his or her respective Facebook profile. Marketers have almost had to start over when it comes to Facebook advertising. Though they have access to and can target basic demographics or behavioral profiles, reaching specific individuals on Facebook has been nearly impossible. This is where Custom(er) Audiences has changed the game.
I keep referring to Custom Audiences as Custom(er) Audiences for this exact reason. Marketers can now target their known customers from other systems of record by tying their customers’ email addresses or phone numbers to their Facebook user profile. By simply uploading these email or phone lists into the Facebook Power Editor, marketers can create custom audience lists.
Now marketers can understand whether customers they may have targeted through email or other offline channels are fans of their page on Facebook – and, if not, target them with highly relevant ads. Furthermore, marketers can create lists for exclusion from Facebook campaigns, which can help to prevent redundancy. While there may still be some tweaks to be made around Custom(er) Audiences (e.g. avoiding competing Facebook advertising campaigns), I think this feature will be invaluable for marketers in terms of aligning their Facebook advertising campaigns with other advertising channels, allowing them to create a seamless customer experience.