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Facebook Releases New Conversion Measurement and Ad Optimization System

Tracie Biggerstaff

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In late January, Facebook announced the global launch of a new ad optimization system and conversion measurement tool. The new system offers features attractive to direct-response marketers seeking improved ad tracking and results, including:

  • Optimized Targeting — Advertisers are now able to deliver ads to users who are most likely to take any specific post-click action on the social network, such as liking a brand’s page, sharing content, uploading a photo, or redeeming a Facebook offer. This change was a specific request from Facebook advertisers who were more interested in true conversions over just ad clicks.
  • Follow-on ROI Tracking — The new tool allows advertisers to measure true return on investment (ROI) by tracking user actions, such as registrations or coupon downloads, that are driven by people who first see the ads on Facebook before switching to another platform.

Both of these new features can be used on all Facebook ads and sponsored stories, as well as in tandem with targeting capabilities, and do not cost extra to use. Plus, when used together, Facebook claims it is the only solution that can show when a person views an ad on one device (such as their tablet) but converts on another (their desktop computer or mobile phone).

Facebook described its new conversion metric on the Studio blog:

"This means that marketers that are interested in using Facebook ads and sponsored stories to drive specific actions on their websites can now use conversion measurement both to understand the ROI of their ad spend and to improve that ROI on future campaigns. This should be extremely valuable for marketers in ecommerce, retail, travel, financial services and other direct-response industries that value actions taken on their websites."

Facebook claims, "Beta tests have shown that when conversion measurement is used with optimized cost per mille (CPM), ads reduced the cost per conversion (CPC) by 40 percent when compared to CPC ads using the same budget."

During early testing, Facebook claims that website was "able to reduce its cost per new customer acquisition by 39 percent when it used conversion measurement and optimization to serve ads to consumers deemed most likely to convert."

Another website that reported positive results in early testing was the Democratic Governors Association, which used conversion measurement with optimized CPM to deliver ads to users who were most likely to sign up for its mailing list. According to Mark Giangreco, director of digital communications at the DGA, the association noticed a dramatic decrease in its cost per conversion — 85% lower than any other campaign the DGA had run online.

Recommended for Pharma Clients

Pharmaceutical brands that will benefit most from these new tools are those currently running, or looking to run, a Facebook direct-response campaign with a specific call-to-action, such as downloading a co-pay card or registering for a program.

Because every brand has a uniquely different target audience, Intouch Solutions recommends conducting a series of tests in paid Facebook advertisements, utilizing the ad optimizer and conversion measurement functionalities in tandem. An in-depth analysis of performance will be measured to make future recommendations.


Facebook advertising has received mixed reviews from advertisers in the past. While some companies — such as General Motors — have publicly questioned its impact, others — such as Samsung — celebrate their results. With its IPO nearing its 1st birthday, it seems Facebook is recognizing a need to prove ROI to advertisers and building the tools to support that. If pharma marketers have identified Facebook as a channel to reach their target audience with a direct-response campaign, this new system may be an opportunity to better track and improve Facebook ad performance.

Contact your Intouch Solutions representative for more tips, advice and support on Facebook display advertising or social media marketing.


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