Facebook third party

Marketer’s Guide to Navigating Facebook’s Removal of Third-Party Targeting Data

We all know the story: Facebook has been under pressure about how their third-party targeting data capabilities infringe on user privacy since even before the 2016 elections, but they could no longer make excuses once the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke. Now, the company is making a permanent – and surprising – move that may usher in a new era of social media where privacy is king, and user vulnerability is no longer the norm.

For most people that use Facebook, and other social media networks, this is a welcomed shift; but as a marketer, the alarm bells might be sounding. If you’re feeling a sense of dread for all the meetings that need to be scheduled with management to explain next steps, here’s an overview of what you need to know to prepare for and navigate those meetings.

What Exactly is Facebook Changing?

Facebook’s announcement outlined their plan to place restrictions on advertising data usage, with the emphasis on eliminating all public and private third-part targeting; essentially the dissolution of their Partner Categories tool. This tool previously allowed marketers to partner with companies to use offline purchase data to enhance their ad targeting. Some of the targeting that this will effect includes behavioral, purchasing, and household income. This change has a pretty transparent goal: decrease user vulnerability by limiting the way their consumer data is used by other companies.

Why is Facebook Making This Change?

There are several reasons that Facebook is making this change, but the most prominent reasons are the Cambridge Analytica scandal and the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). The scandal put a target on Facebook and drew criticism from users, stakeholders, and others in the social media space. GDPR took effect on May 25, 2018, and aims to give data control back to the people. One way GDPR does this is by requiring companies to gain explicit consent for all data collection they do, as well as transparency about how that data will be used. GDPR is applicable to all residents of EU, no matter where the company in question is located. Additionally, Facebook’s general outlook has shifted from one of arrogance to one of responsibility; making changes like this is the only way they are going to keep the business alive.

How Will These Changes Effect Marketers?

As of October 1, 2018, Partner Categories will cease to exist and any ads that are running using that targeting option will no longer be delivered. In a nutshell, marketers will need to bring their targeting focus inward, and stop looking to third-party targeting to reach their audiences. This is not doomsday; there are plenty of other ways for marketers to target their audiences online.

The first step is to revisit and adjust existing KPIs with Facebook’s new limitations in mind. Trying to meet those expectations without the same tools would have any marketer feeling like a failure. As you review and rebuild your strategies and KPIs, don’t forget to focus more on objectives that align with brand awareness. Operating your targeting within Facebook’s new rules will help you gain and keep the trust of the audiences that you continue to reach, which is an invaluable way to gain long-term brand advocates.

Don’t forget that you have a lot of data on your own. Start to work with your internal teams and your agency to collect that data and find creative ways to use it for targeting and for general content. Upload your existing data lists into your campaigns and start running some targeting to see what results you get. Adjust, repeat, adjust, repeat.

There are also other social media networks that you can use to reach your targets. If you haven’t created company pages on Pinterest, Twitter or Snapchat, now might be the time to start exploring how you can leverage those platforms to access new audiences.

Featured Employee Shawn

Featured Employee Of The Month: Web Developer, Shawn

Employee Feature Questionnaire

1.What was your very first job?
I was a busser and dishwasher for a hotel resort when I was 15.

2. What degree(s) do you have, and from which institutes and fields of study?
I have a Bachelor of Arts degree in Film & Media from UC Santa Barbara.
Ole! Ole! Ole! Ole! Gauchos! Gauchos!

3. What do you think is one of the most significant changes that you’ve seen since you started working in your industry?
Having an immersive experience with web sites has drastically changed the way brands need to present themselves. It’s more important than ever to have an engaging site that’s capable of delivering a resonant design, eye-catching animations, and efficient functionality. To top it off, everything should work to near perfection on mobile devices.

4. What excites you most about the digital marketing world?
The rapidly-evolving pace of technology inspires me to always be learning. Nowadays, there’s more opportunity to learn anything you want and further improve any skill you want. Technology makes knowledge extremely accessible now. Almost everything you could ever want to know is out there and I’m excited to learn something new everyday.

5. What do you do when you are not at work?
I love spending time with my beautiful wife, amazing family, and our little Demon-Dog Pomeranian-Chihuahua named Digz.

6. Do you have any hobbies?
I love listening to music, playing guitar, snowboarding, building computers, hiking, camping, backpacking, exploring, reading (mostly audiobooks), staying fit, grilling/cooking, playing video games, drawing/sketching, watching movies, binge-watching TV series, and traveling.

7. What thing(s) are you obsessed with?
Technology, craft beer, dogs, science-fiction, philosophy and the great-outdoors.

8. What’s one thing about yourself that would surprise people?
I was in a movie with Kurt Russel and a Hot Pockets commercial. I’m also a black belt in Taekwondo.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Be the hero of your own story.

Featured Employee Of The Month: Graphic Designer, Mackenzie

Employee Feature Questionnaire

1.What was your very first job?

I was a lifeguard all through high school at a waterpark in Georgia.

2. What degree(s) do you have, and from which institutes and fields of study?

I have a Bachelor of Fine Arts with an emphasis on Graphic Design from Samford University in Alabama

3. What do you think is one of the most significant changes that you’ve seen since you started working in your industry?

From my mere 4 years in the industry, I have seen Adobe continue to create programs and tools that make every designer’s life easier (i.e. Adobe Animate and XD), while Microsoft continues to make designers’ lives hell (i.e. Microsoft PowerPoint & Word).

4. What excites you most about the digital marketing world?

Working with other designers who think so differently than myself. Also, when a client goes for an idea or design you thought may be too crazy.

5. What do you do when you are not at work?

I host visitors, professionally bridesmaid, nap, DJ, road trip, jet set, wine taste, and serve at church.

6. Do you have any hobbies?

Anything but hiking or camping.

7. What thing(s) are you obsessed with?

Jesus, Taylor Swift, Pomeranians, wine, Cheetos, baseball (players), make-up, hats and Halloween.

8. What’s one thing about yourself that would surprise people?

I have a heart condition called mitral valve prolapse. I also hate certain fruits because they have a pit. I get chills and freak out if I’m biting or cutting a peach or plum and I hit the pit.

9. What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Never get dental work from your grandpa.

Last minute gdpr checklist

Last Minute GDPR Compliance Checklist

The GDPR deadline is just days away, and no organization that collects personal data is exempt from its new rules. As the deadline approaches, it’s a good idea to run through your checklist, and to compare it to another compliance checklist to make sure that you haven’t left anything out. This is not something to take lightly, as failure to comply could result in damage to your company’s reputation, its relationship with its customers, and, ultimately, its finances. Assessing your plan and getting help where needed will ensure that you can get a framework in place for data protection.

Comprehensive Data List

When speaking about being able to manage your data, it’s first important to understand your data. You should have a list of the personal data points that you have collected, where the data comes from, how you use and share that data, and the age of that data.

Privacy Policy

You should already have a privacy policy that is publicly available to anyone that wants to view it. You should review that policy and update it to comply with the new GDPR regulations. Remember to notify your customers and web site visitors about the changes that you make to your policy.

Consent Forms

If your company uses consent forms, those need to be reviewed and updated so that users have clear control of their data and how it is going to be used. Under GDPR, it’s important for people to be able to say “no” just as easily as they can say “yes.”

Future Data Management

Beyond the May 25, 2018 GDPR deadline, you’ll have to continue to manage your data in a compliant way. You need to assess if you already have someone in-house that can do that job, if you need to hire someone for that job, or if you need to get help from a third party to manage your data moving forward.

Internal Communications

Has everyone and anyone that touches your data or makes decisions about your data been informed of the GDPR measures taking effect, and received internal communications about how your company is implementing the changes and how you’ll proceed moving forward?  It sounds tedious, but you’ll want to make sure all your SOPs have been updated to cover your new policies, to define the purpose for your data, and to review who and how access is gratned to that data.

New Procedures

Have you laid out new company procedures for communicating data breaches, performing data audits, and handling customer inquiries and request to be forgotten?

Existing Contracts

If you have contracts with other companies, make sure those partners are aware of your policy updates, and also ensure that they have updated their policies to be compliant with GDPR. Update any and all contracts and get each company involved to sign the addendum.

Don’t Forget

There are special categories of personal data, including that of children, anything genetic, and employees. Be sure to double check the GDPR standards for this information so that your policies on collection, processing and storing are compliant. You’ll also want to keep up with any changes to GDPR, so that you can adjust and adapt as needed.

Be sure to also check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our GDPR series if you haven’t already!

DISCLAIMER: This website is neither a magnum opus on EU data privacy nor legal advice for your company to use in complying with EU data privacy laws like the GDPR. Instead, it provides background information to help you better understand how Digital Style has addressed some important legal points. This legal information is not the same as legal advice, where an attorney applies the law to your specific circumstances, so we insist that you consult an attorney if you’d like advice on your interpretation of this information or its accuracy. In a nutshell, you may not rely on this paper as legal advice, nor as a recommendation of any particular legal understanding.