Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Facebook Datamines Real-Time Conversations for Ad Targeting

Last month Facebook started to profile real-time conversations to target ads using a worldwide test sample of 1%, which gives them a sample size of over 6 million people.

While advertisers can already use Facebook to reach users based on profile data such as age, gender, location, keywords, interests and preferences through "likes", this recent addition provides real-time processing of data from status updates and new wall posts so that users are served with corresponding advertising messages that are relevant their current conversations.

For example: Users who update their status with "Hey mate, let’s go out for a beer tonight” could get an ad from the local Irish pub, a new boutique beer or the latest drink alcohol responsibly message by the South Australian government (see video below).

While Facebook is not the first website to serve targeted ads (Google started back in 2009 with behavioural advertising program called Adsense) this latest immediate attempt to reach the consumer with a marketing message during a conversation is a major breakthrough.

With real-time delivery of advertisements, any online discussion taking place in our lives such as getting engaged, planning a holiday, organising a dinner with friends turns has become a new marketplace for brands to raise awareness or gain top of mind at the time when people are ready to purchase their product.

This immediacy is even further enhanced if combined with GeoTargeting technology which would put brands directly in front of a potential buyer when they are activily out shopping.

If 57% of people talk more online than they do in real life as the following video suggest, then digital marketers have a great opportunity of tapping into the online conversation.

The World Is Obsessed With Facebook from Alex Trimpe on Vimeo.

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