ThumbFinal_3.25.15-FINALDigital advertising shouldn’t be overlooked anymore. Last year, total spending on digital ads grew more than 40 percent to over $8 billion worldwide. Before you attribute that growth to any of the many newcomers, you should know that 75 percent of that $8 billion went to Facebook. Yes, that Facebook. The Facebook whose once dismal CTRs (click-through rates) were the punch line to old-school advertising’s favorite joke.

Not long ago, the idea of Facebook basing a big part of its revenue stream on advertising seemed risky at best—especially when that same revenue model was failing for traditional media companies like newspapers. Today, it’s hard to imagine a business succeeding without digital advertising in its mix. Facebook deserves the credit for its own turnaround. The company brought its advertising game to a new level last year with the release of Facebook Custom Audiences and Facebook Audience Insights, two tools that make advertising on the network a slam-dunk decision. I can target advertising to my existing customers on Facebook (Custom Audiences) and tap into Facebook’s massive pool of user intelligence (Audience Insights) to learn more about them? Sign me up!

The ability to finely tune and target advertising on the world’s most popular network is huge. This isn’t the Facebook advertising of yesteryear: that one annoying ad that wouldn’t go away because you clicked on a Disney vacation site four months ago. This is about taking the conversation to the customer’s inner sanctum, their mobile device, and optimizing it in ways that weren’t possible before.

In an omni-channel world, controlled and integrated advertising on Facebook is a game-changer:

  • The average user accesses Facebook 14 times per day—that’s fourteen unique opportunities throughout the day to engage with customers;
  • Create “share-able” coupons and special offers that extend to Facebook friends and communities;
  • Re-target consumers right after they leave your online site or physical store with Facebook offers and personalized messages (e.g., “Thanks for visiting our store! Here’s a 10% coupon for next time.”);
  • Reach the 95% of prospects who didn’t open your email with a Facebook ad they can’t ignore;
  • Tap into Facebook’s Audience Insights and create Facebook Lookalikes to find new prospects who match up with your most profitable customers.

But wait a minute, you’re thinking, how do I integrate this goodness into my other marketing programs for a holistic experience? It’s a good question because, truly, if you treat digital advertising as an isolated channel, it will become just one more area avenue through which you’re saying the same thing over and over.

The fact is, you need to integrate your digital advertising with all of your other marketing initiatives at a fundamental, application level to be effective. To that end, we set about developing the Teradata Digital Marketing Center: a new solution that enables businesses to seamlessly integrate and control Facebook advertising and other digital programs from their Teradata Marketing Applications platform. (For more on this, read Lisa Arthur’s recent and always-entertaining blog.)

Now, Facebook becomes another (albeit important) aspect of a holistic marketing approach as you track ad performance across channels, weave elements (social, mobile, email, web) across campaigns, link customer profiles with Facebook profiles and manage interactions across multiple mediums.

We knew that social platforms were going to change the future of advertising. We just didn’t know what that future would look like. Now we do. Tools like Custom Audiences, Audience Insights and Teradata’s Digital Marketing Center are the face of the digital marketing future.