Food for Thought: Six Mobile Advertising Targeting Options We’d Like to See on Facebook

Lior Eldan

Since launching “Facebook ads” in 2008, Facebook has become an advertising empire providing marketers with valuable user data to create highly personalized and targeted media campaigns.

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Earlier this year Facebook declared that advertisers can now utilize its user data to target consumer outside of Facebook and introduced mobile ads to its ad exchange network. The announcement indicated that now, more than ever, Facebook was rooting for advertisers and has broken full-force into the mobile advertising arena.

These ground-breaking updates are sure to yield endless mobile advertising possibilities. We have assembled a list of targeting options we’d like to see turn into reality:

Show Me Your Friends and I’ll Show You Who You Are

If many of your close friends are using a certain app, you’re most likely to be interested to join the party. The data is already being gathered, as the network keeps track of users opting to download apps through Facebook ads. It is time for Facebook to tap into that data and turn it into a marketing tool, allowing advertisers to target potential users with an ad stating that five of their friends are already using this app.

This is especially exciting for advertisers promoting apps that require a broad user-base to succeed. Messaging apps, such as Rounds and Whatsapp, should absolutely utilize that data for marketing.

More than Just Location

Location was actually one of the first targeting options to become available for advertisers on Facebook, but what does it take to kick it up a notch? Knowing where your target audience is located can also indicate what major events are taking place in the region. This type of information can lead to the next-level marketing you’re after.

For example, we’ve all been there – you step out of a concert and the streets are packed with people trying to catch a cab. A taxi app could target these concert-goers with ads, and even include a quote from a song performed at the concert, tapping both into the audience’s needs and personal interests.

In the Mood

Facebook already enables users to share their current mood along with status updates, so why not let advertisers use that information to learn more about their target audience? A potential client’s mood is extremely relevant to advertisers, as in order for an ad to effectively influence consumers, the audience has to be in the right mindset to absorb the message. Facebook ads usually lack the means (time, and screen “real-estate”) to set the tone for the audience, and must cut straight to the point.

Data can help advertisers address this issue from another angle – instead of setting the right mood for an ad, they can send users the right ad for their current mood. If a user’s status reads: “pulled an allnighter to finish writing my senior paper – Feeling Tired”, a coffee discount app like Cups could target the user with an ad and offer a perfect solution to the problem.

Keep Your Enemies Close

It is widely known that businesses mobile advertising on Facebook should take a very close look at their competitors. However, Facebook could allow brands to drill even deeper. Imagine if companies could spot users who “Unliked” a competitor’s Facebook page? This could be the perfect timing for these businesses to capitalize on the opportunity and offer these users an alternative service they might find more satisfying.

For instance, T-Mobile could notice that someone stopped following Verizon on Facebook. That could be a great time for them to target that person and present them with an ad that offers them a free trial period for one of their services. Recognizing the user’s disappointment with their competitor could earn T-Mobile a new, satisfied client.

Special Day, Special Deal

Just think of all the times you didn’t know what to get a loved one for their birthday. Well, Facebook has all the data to help out both users and advertisers. Retailers could target people whose spouses, family members, or friends have a birthdays coming up and offer special deals based on their interests.

For example, if your wife’s birthday is coming up next week, and Facebook has information in its database about her being a fan of Pandora Jewelry (she “Likes” the brand’s Facebook page and once posted a status about a new bracelet she purchased at the store), Pandora could then target you with a special offer and help you find the perfect gift.

Do you have any of your own ideas for targeting options on Facebook based on the network’s user data?

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