Facebook Users Can Now Opt Out Of Targeted Advertising - Good News, Or Bad?

The Facebook Pixel is an elusive creature. A digital detective, a social media super sleuth - it tracks all that you do, stores it in it’s digital filing cabinet, and catches you red handed when the moment is right. Imagine this: it’s 5.30pm, you’re searching for the perfect pair of shoes online to pass the time during your afternoon commute. You find a great pair and don’t commit, but maybe you add them to your cart, and figure you’ll make the decision later if they’re still on your mind. You switch over to Facebook, and suddenly the shoes are all you can see. They’re plaguing your existence, they’re haunting your dreams (and more importantly, your feed). Upon making your purchase, you’ll begin to wonder if it’s a sign - and THAT, right there, is the beauty of the Facebook Pixel, and the signature to its success.

Phrases like “Facebook Pixel” and “Targeted Advertising” may seem intimidating and foreign to those who aren’t familiar with them, but in reality, the concept is very simple. The main function of the Facebook Pixel is to collect data. That data then that helps you track conversions from Facebook ads, optimize ads, build targeted audiences for future ads, and remarket to people who have already taken some kind of action on your website. However, Facebook has just announced a rather irreverent “clear history” function for users that pretty much deems the pixel’s function a lot less exciting for most marketers and businesses.

The Facebook Pixel is a marketers best friend, but as a consumer, we can see how it has the potential to come across as a little creepy. This change, if widely adopted by users, could have a significant impact on the Custom Audiences feature that lets you target customers based on their activity on your website or app. Despite the fact that it’s an opt-in feature, once people realize they can turn off the feeling of being followed online, do you think anyone is going to choose not to? Here’s an even more important question: What does this mean for your business?

Firstly, this is a great example of why you should never put all your eggs in one basket - or to be more specific, be at the mercy of a singular platform. Clever marketing never builds its entire foundation into just one channel. Multiple channels are needed for multiple audiences - if one of your goals is to grow your audience and increase your reach, do you REALLY think this can achieved by sticking to the same strategy, day in, day out, from day dot? Take the old saying - “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing time and time again and expecting different results”. In this instance, that sentiment certainly rings true. If you’re really that set on using targeted advertising, there are other platforms you can and should use, like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest.

While we’re on the topic of different platforms - let’s not sometimes forgotten and under utilized magic of email marketing and EDMS. Emails are a very personal way of reaching your target customers. Don’t get us wrong, Social Media is an extremely important component in any business’ marketing strategy. It’s a great channel for interacting with your audience and strengthening your personal relationships with them, and because of that, it is an important first step towards reaching your ultimate goal – the conversion. What you might not know is that Email Marketing has proven itself to be just as - if not more - powerful as a conversion tool. Research by WordStream in 2018 found that 59% of B2C marketers claim email is their most effective channel in terms of revenue generation.

Another alternative to using the Facebook Pixel? Quite simply, just being honest with your audience. As previously mentioned, some people find the whole targeted advertising thing a little creepy, and that’s okay. Be transparent with your customers about your advertising strategies, and earn their trust through relevant content. Meaningful connections with your customers are based on understanding your audience, and what is truly important to them. For a moment, step back, and focus on nurturing your current audience and gaining their trust - integrity goes a long way!

The opt-out feature of the Facebook Pixel doesn’t necessarily mean that the days of targeted advertising are over, but it DOES mean that changes are coming. Collaborative Marketing is always up to date with trends and changes and knows how to adapt to the industry during those times you feel like you’re flailing. We like to be ahead of the crowd, and we want you to be too. If you’d like help harnessing the magic of EDM conversion, or would like to be versed in other ways to grow your database, then drop us a line at shea@collaborativemarketing.com.au, and we’ll show you the ropes.