Facebook and Google dominating with Audience Data

Remember cookies? Meet the alternative. People Based Targeting which is the ability to leverage platform (Google / Facebook) login data to target a user on multiple devices. With the shift in consumer attention to mobile, Google and Facebook are at an enormous advantage when it comes to the ability to reach and retarget audience at an efficient and profitable rate, with minimal viewability concerns. Also, both the YouTube (Google) and Facebook platform provide alternative ad placement in TrueView and Native In Feed that isn’t like “Traditional Digital Media” #300×250, having a tremendous impact on performance thus increasing the percentage of ad revenue year over year, thus creating the arms race between the two giants.
Each powerhouse must deal with their journey in optimizing their offer, specifically as their core pieces Facebook and Google Search yield to their growing counterparts Instagram and YouTube. With the momentum to mobile dominated by Facebook and Google and Video dominated by YouTube, we find that one day these new platforms will generate revenue and advertising performance better than their counterparts. In all the platform discussion the power play never discussed is this vast audience gathering and segmentation as well as Targeting capabilities that break the barrier regarding capability putting many the digital advertising industry at a real disadvantage.

The Difference and The Advantage
Google (YouTube)

2017 will be an important year for the giant as people based marketing is introduced linking more than ten different Google platforms along with their unique data information that will be used to segment and target specifically around life events and trends. Moreover, along with Targeting comes an excellent cross-platform offering linking users across multiple devices with login data, vs. cookie and hash data previous. With recent changes to the AdWords Video platform introducing household income targeting as well as ad group level device bid adjustments, the shift is again another arrow pointing towards the growth of our industry and the competitive pressure of the marketplace. Google’s audience doors are open wider than ever before. Moving forward and rolling out this year, all Targeting segments will leverage a richer amount of data most importantly being search and possibly mail. Search and E-Mail tell a lot about a user, most importantly what we buy and vital audience interests
When you combine these vast audience capabilities coupled with the in-stream TrueView model and format with discovery and bumper placements you have a recipe for reaching a highly Targeting audience with efficiency and increased probability of brand affinity. There are no more impactful media than video, specifically long form available with the TrueView buying on a platform which creates scale; success is imminent.

Facebook (Instagram)

The first platform at scale to implement fully functional cross-device targeting and retargeting leveraging login data, Facebook introduced us to performance results similar to those garnered in the early display days. Before the multiple formats, bot fraud, and the viewability hell publishers and advertisers must navigate in today’s time. While this is a primary component for advertisers and a competitive advantage against each mainstream publisher when coupled with the data sets and segmentation opportunities, you have an advertising media vehicle that has potential to dominate the digital marketing landscape for years to come.


The audience gathered on Facebook is a combination of 3rd party cookies from outside sources, self-committed where a user puts inaccurate information, as well as engagement cues when users like, share, comment and share specific posts or pages. Audience segmentation can be as granular as an employer email set with a group target around the office or location to as broad as you can imagine. Similar to Google, what sets Facebook apart is the scale and placement type.


Native in its origin, Facebook in-feed ads are the most engaging type from a display standpoint specifically due to the environment. Users rarely can tell if an ad is coming because they are cleverly placed in-between followed and friend-centric content, hence the word native. Many other factors like creative, frequency and most importantly Targeting all have a significant role in the success of each campaign, but the native experience is one to watch carefully as many companies try to optimize their advertising offering.


Using first party data (usually CRM) has the most impact on Facebook due to the look-a-like modeling capabilities that can. E scales from 1-10. One being the richest and narrow to 10 being the broadest. This strategy has an enormous impact on finding a relevant/similar audience without having to leverage costly market research or cue points taken from other marketing efforts.


Audience data will be a marketer’s most valuable tool for a long time. Hence, why Google and Facebook will continue with the arms race. The data coupled with scale and engaging ad placement create a winning solution for advertisers. We look forward to growing and monetizing these platforms with efficiency for our client partners now and in the future.

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