At Leading in Local: ILM 2013: Facebook’s Vision for Simpler, More Effective Business Tools

At BIA/Kelsey’s Leading in Local conference, Facebook VP of Product Marketing Brian Boland amplified a local business theme we’ve been hearing from the social network for a while: simplicity, engagement and outcomes rule. The company has actually reduced the number of local ad products that it offers, instead focusing on providing rich targeting and generating actionable business results. The goals: to remove friction for SMBs and re-brand Facebook as accessible and easy to deploy, rather than “that weird new thing.”

Boland spent considerable time on customer segmentation. Businesses already know their customer’s profile and in many cases maintain a list of contact information. Through Custom Audiences targeting, Facebook enables SMBs to integrate their customer list through their CRM system to target e-mail groups. It also offers Modeled targeting to identify and message look-alike audiences.

Facebook is also encouraging and empowering actionable campaigns that tie to clearly-stated business objectives, whether those be building Likes, spurring engagement or motivating transactions (through Offers or ecommerce, for example).

Finally, Boland emphasized the efficacy of Facebook mobile ads. These native units, which render responsively by device are often driving 3-5x return on spend, especially if campaigns are correlated to specific calls to action. The next step: deeper measurement and analytics, primarily connecting online impressions and engagement to actual in-store conversions.

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