Future-proofing from Facebook: How Brands Can Get Ahead of Further Limitations

Facebook’s recent announcement to cut down on non-relevant public content from brands, businesses, media, etc. should not have come as a surprise to anyone in the ad tech space. In fact, it is the start of a trend where publishers are looking for quality rather than quantity — something we have all foreshadowed. The cry of the consumer has been loud and clear for years. As the means of distributing ads at high volumes became more efficient, so did the risk of feeding consumers content that wasn’t at all relevant. It was only a matter of time before a platform cracked down to find a way to restore the way their business once was. 

If you take a look at other industries, there are clues that the writing has been on the wall for a while. Healthcare, for example, has gone through this cycle. Decades ago, house calls were not uncommon. Doctors made personal visits, got to know the patient and their household, and treated them in a location where they are comfortable. Eventually, the volume of patients became too much and clinics arose, which eventually led to long wait times and shorter appointments — all at the cost of an experience that felt truly personal. Enter companies such as Heal, an app for doctor house calls, and concierge medical practices like One Medical, both of which aim to revive the personalization of the “good old days” with the convenience of new technology.

Facebook’s actions are a clear indicator that both ad and martech companies are not immune to this very same cycle. Consumers are overwhelmed with the volume and irrelevance of today’s digital ads, challenging brands and publishers to deliver the distinct personalization consumers crave at the volumes necessary to stay competitive. So how do they do this? 

At Tapad, this question has long been on our minds. This is why we’ve ensured that personalization has been a founding principle for each and every one of our products. While fads and technology may change, we knew the consumer’s desire for relevant and high-value content would always remain. This means knowing more than which device or browser a consumer uses, but also what that activity means in regards to their greater identity. How could one behavior lead to another? And what signals does one consumer give versus another to indicate the content is/isn’t relevant?

For brands wondering how to get their content back onto consumers’ good sides, the first step is making sure you have a marketing technology partner who’s providing the data necessary to determine what exactly that consumer wants. Ads become a menace when they have no relevance, so brands should ensure this data is part of a greater personalization strategy as well. Facebook’s actions demonstrate that the right message at a lower frequency may be the answer consumers are looking for, but personalization is the secret to ensuring you have that right message in the first place. Overall, this identity-first mindest will ensure that the next time an announcement like Facebook’s comes forward you’re the one saying “we were prepared for this”, rather than “how do we solve for this?”

By Varun Gudiseva, VP Market Development, Analytics, Tapad