Facebook is investing heavily in measurement products to help prove out the value of its ads. Its offline conversion tracking on behalf of CPG marketers is perhaps the key example of this. In one indicator of that program's importance, the company recently promoted Fred Leach, who helped develop it, to head R&D measurement and partnerships across verticals.
On September 16, Leach will speak at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O conference in New York City.
He talked with AdExchanger about the research function at Facebook and the company's work with Datalogix.
AdExchanger: What are you working on at Facebook?
FRED LEACH: For my new role the key thing is bringing the quality of measurements that we’ve done for CPG brands to more categories. Along with a team of people, I’m working on research and measurements across the different verticals that we work with at Facebook.
We’ve got partnerships on one side, and those are partnerships primarily with research and measurement firms that specialize in this kind of quantitative work. Our partnerships are driven by doing joint research to educate the industry on not just Facebook but digital marketing and increasingly mobile marketing and consumer behavior. Some of our partners include Nielsen and Datalogix.
On the R&D side, a lot of what we’re doing is around optimization. We’re figuring out what works and what doesn’t. There’s less of a focus on ad impressions since we’re confident that we’ve answered that question affirmatively. We know ad impression work so what other areas can we improve?
Can you give an example of the kind of work you do?
One thing people have talked about for a long time is doing research by audience segments, and understanding how different audiences respond differently and how that ties into planning. We can look at exposure to media and actual responses to the ads.
One of the pieces of research we’ve done recently is simple but powerful in many ways. We looked at the audience in terms of low category purchases and high category purchases [in terms of volume] with a specific brand. That gives us a comparison of high brands and low brands versus high and low categories. So those are four cells that we look at and we can look at responses to the ads people were served and how they responded in terms of what incremental sales were driven.
We see that there are different responses which is exciting, since this allows you to plan going forward. For example, you can spend more on media in segment A, a little bit less for segment B and maybe a little less in C and D, etc. This is just the beginning.
Can you give an update on the work you’re doing with Datalogix?
We’ve been focused on doing studies around campaign measurements. For example, we’ll take a detergent brand and measure five or six campaigns that are all different and we’ll compare them. You might have a campaign that did a better job of optimizing for profit and you’ll want to see if you can apply something from it to the other campaigns. Maybe it was the creative. The true power of Datalogix is in bringing together different kinds of information to help us look at a broader part of the market.
Twitter also has a partnership with Datalogix. We haven’t seen any ROI numbers from Twitter yet so they’re pretty early on in terms of their engagement with Datalogix. It’s also a nice validation of the approach we’ve been taking and the importance of doing this kind of closed loop measurement. We’re excited that more publishers are partnering with Datalogix to do these kinds of measurements. We really believe it’s the future and we want advertisers to see the opportunities they have to make their advertising campaigns more efficient.