Bring the power of your CRM to your advertising

Advertising based on your own first-party customer data (or CRM data) and how your customers already engage with your brands is one of the most powerful ways to advertise today. Facebook Custom Audiences is one of the most powerful ways to leverage this data and target your own customers with ads. We’ve received a lot of questions about how exactly they work, and we wanted to dig into the details here.

As a brand, you supply Facebook one or more of the following:

  • Email addresses
  • Phone numbers
  • Install or usage data from your mobile app

You can also use Website Custom Audiences to target visitors of a web page with a Facebook ad by implementing a Facebook pixel on your website.

Facebook then automatically matches this data with Facebook users, and tells you what percentage of your potential audience you can target. Because most people use the same email address on their Facebook account that they use to sign up for relationships with brands, and most people who list a phone number on Facebook also use that phone number with your brand, match rates are often quite high. For example, in an interview with AdAge, one executive said that his clients see a 68% match rate when using Custom Audiences.

This data can be matched with Facebook data in several ways: either directly uploading your list as a CSV file directly to Facebook (or via a Facebook partner like Salesforce) or by uploading a SHA-256 algorithmically hashed version of your list using a solution like Active Audiences.

The SHA-256 algorithm is a one-way function that transforms your list into a series of 32-byte unique values. Facebook uses the same algorithm to has its user data and compare to your list. With the second approach, your customer data never leaves your system, and you can use Custom Audiences without ever having to download your data onto an unsecured laptop or upload it un-hashed to Facebook.

In addition to ads for groups of your existing customers, you should try Facebook Lookalike Audiences. With this type of ad targeting, Facebook takes your own CRM data you uploaded as a Custom Audience and determines the group of Facebook users who are the most similar to your customers, using their own proprietary algorithms. These users are prime targets for new acquisition and brand campaigns because they will have many traits in common with your existing customers. You can specify if you want the top 1% most similar all the way to the top 10% more similar users.

At Salesforce, we’ve run a series of tests to measure the effectiveness of advertising targeting based on your customer data. Because these ads are displayed to your own customers, they show very high engagement, and ad recall. In fact, when brands that work with us run ads to get people to visit their website, ads targeted with Custom Audiences get 80% higher engagement than ads targeted in any other way.

Dive deeper into how an online retailer proved ROI with advertising to their own customer. Download the joint case study with Facebook!

Read more: Using Custom Audiences In Facebook Ads