With a variety of digital campaigns running at any one time, it can be difficult to identify which channel is delivering the best results or how they all work together effectively. Additionally, mixed messages can result in a poor user experience and higher advertising spend. This is where Facebook noticed an opportunity and, back in 2013, acquired the Atlas Advertising Suite from Microsoft for close to 50 million dollars.
The Atlas Advertising Suite is a platform used by advertisers to plan, track, manage and optimise their digital marketing however with constant advances in technology it has become an uphill struggle for advertisers to understand how all of their advertising efforts complement and strengthen each other.
Scouring the Atlas
Following continued competition with advertising rival, Google, Facebook announced the launch of Atlas at the beginning of New York’s Ad Week with the hope of dominating the headlines - and this is exactly what it did! True to its word, Atlas has continued to operate from its headquarters in Seattle and Facebook has fully rebuilt Atlas’ interface to help advertisers understand how their advertising budget is increasing revenue and driving their business forward.
Targeting across websites
Firstly, with this acquisition, not only will advertisers gain access to Facebook data allowing them to target ads on Facebook, they can utilise this information to target ads on non-Facebook websites across the web. Facebook has explicitly expressed that Atlas is not an ad network and it is simply to help advertisers achieve their end goals. Additionally, Facebook has stated advertisers purchasing ads via Atlas will receive a better experience as it utilises Facebook data and, as we all know, targeting ads based on the customers themselves is the future of advertising.
The cookie crumbles...
Secondly, with the growth in mobile usage in recent years and privacy legislation, cookies are becoming less and less relevant for understanding customers habits across devices. As 32% of purchases start on one device and end via another device, this thread is lost and it becomes complex to identify which channel the conversion has come from. As such, cookies are flawed and this is where Atlas comes in with its cross-device capabilities. Atlas utilises Facebook ID’s, allowing all user activity to be tracked across mobile, tablet and desktop usage and providing accurate conversion tracking - a dream for all you attribution marketing fans. With this, the in-depth reporting tool allows advertisers to identify the top performing channel for conversions and as such, distribute budget accordingly across the most successful channel.
Targeting across devices
With Atlas, Facebook data is used to track users between devices and connect online campaigns to offline sales, thus, allowing the advertiser to profile real users for future targeting. This is beneficial to advertisers as they can reach out to all users regardless of the device they are using and implement effective attribution modelling. It’s also beneficial to users, as they can now see ads which are wholly relevant to them, thus, enhancing their overall experience and increasing their propensity to convert into customers.
Boasting an easy to navigate interface, built-in targeting, an excellent reporting function as well as the ability to create and target ads across devices, Atlas is set to be a success. When utilised correctly and the performance of a campaign is fully understood, future campaigns can be optimised leading to successful outcomes. To find out more about how the ads are served click here.
Ad-holding giant, Omnicom, is the first company to have signed an ad-serving partnership confirming it will now purchase ads with Atlas. Serving clients such as Pepsi, Intel and many others, and operating in over 100 countries, this is understandably a great win for Atlas. Additionally, Instagram (another of Facebook’s recent acquirements) is also enabled to measure ad impressions which are expected to become a more important metric to measure in favour of clicks.
Facebook is further branching out into the digital advertising world and is closing in on it’s rival Google thanks to the acquisition of Atlas. With advertising set to become more people-focused than ever before (and personalisation marketing remaining at the forefront of marketing success), Atlas is expected to revolutionise advertising with its unique qualities.
The introduction of Atlas has pushed Facebook ahead, bringing them closer to cracking online/offline attribution marketing. We’ll be keeping you up to date with all the latest on Atlas over the next few months, keep your eyes peeled for our next blog.