Earlier this week Facebook announced the ability to utilize Atlas post impression measurement tags (view tags) on ads with custom targeting including: partner categories, lookalike and custom audience targeting.

What does this mean for you as a brand or advertiser?

For starters, you get a more comprehensive and intelligent set of data. One of the biggest hurdles facing our industry today is not only the amount of data available to us but how we put the information we have to “work” in order to improve the return for every dollar spent. Better analytics lead to smarter business decisions- no one should disagree with that concept. This feature will enable advertisers to measure display, search and Facebook ads from one comprehensive platform.

View Tags and Multi-Touch Attribution

In the past, marketers have built benchmarks and KPI’s based on click through rates and last click conversion attribution or giving “credit” to the ad unit with the most recent click. We’ve known for years that the last click methodology was less than ideal. Multi-channel media plans are becoming the norm and it is essential to not only grasp the full ROI of each medium but also “close the loop” and attribute each conversion correctly.

For example, I am in the market for a refrigerator. I conduct a few broad (1-2 keyword) searches and begin my journey. Along the way, I am retargeted by display ads desperately seeking my attention. During my daily visit to Facebook to see what activities my friends are involved in, I am “reminded” via the newsfeed or RHS that my quest for the perfect refrigerator is not over. After selecting a brand and model I use a long tail or 4-5 keyword search for the most precise results, click on a paid search ad and conduct my purchase. In the last click attribution model the long tail paid search ad receives all of the credit when in fact each product interaction and “touchpoint” made an impact on my purchase.

Closing the attribution loop has been a major obstacle for Facebook and many of the larger platforms in the industry. The average Facebook user spends almost seven hours each month on the site, and without a solution in place to properly attribute conversions Facebook was missing the opportunity to prove its effectiveness in driving conversions, hence the importance of a solution like Atlas. As an agnostic ad server, Atlas tags are distributed across multiple digital channels providing insight into the “path” a user takes from the initial impressions to the final conversion. With today’s announcement, Atlas view-tags can now also be used in cases where the advertiser is leveraging custom audience targeting, lookalike audience targeting, and partner categories.

Together with Atlas, Facebook is delivering the features, targeting capabilities and analytics marketers can benefit from now and in the future.