How Facebook is leading people-based marketing with Atlas 2.0

Scott Sphar

by Scott Sphar

One and a half years have come and gone since Facebook launched Atlas 2.0 – a platform described as the No 1 tool for ’people-based marketing’. However, after the first few months of coverage the topic seems to have been forgotten. So now it’s time to have another look at this new map for social media marketing.


A map of the market

Offering a multitude of benefits to marketers, Atlas takes social media – first and foremost Facebook – and transforms it into much more than just a way to connect people with people. Now it can also be a way to connect people with products more accurately, more efficiently and on a more personal level than ever before.

Traditionally, consumers’ surfing online have been tracked with cookies. However, cookies have not proved to be as efficient as they could be and the information provided by them is not always sufficient. Atlas manages to bypass this issue by using consumers’ Facebook accounts where people readily share information about their lives, hobbies, and everything under the sun. When they click on an ad or buy a product, their Facebook account can be tracked so that Atlas gets notified about that action.


Tracking customers across devices

The exceptional benefit that can be gained from this is that Atlas also works on mobile devices, which are known not to support cookies. By not relying on cookies but instead on people’s Facebook information, Atlas can also track activities on mobile devices and beyond. Atlas is a cross-device tool, enabling the tracking of all of a person’s digital activity. An ad might be seen on a mobile phone while the actual purchase is done on a computer. By accessing consumers’ Facebook accounts, Atlas can put two and two together.


Matching ads to sales

And no, that’s not all. More than just tracking people’s online purchases, Atlas is also able to connect ad views to actual sales in-store. This ability makes it by far one of the most efficient ways of telling how your digital campaign is performing.

How can Atlas track in-store sales, you may ask? Simply by asking consumers to provide their phone numbers or emails when they are making the purchase. By comparing this data with their online activity, it is then possible for Atlas to identify the path that led the consumer to the store.


Useful but anonymous data

At this point it is good to remind anyone who’s getting nervous about their own personal information being used, that Atlas provides only numbers. All personal information remains anonymous but the information provided by Facebook can help companies understand their customers better. Atlas offers information on demographics, interests and behavioural habits of different kinds of people. Who buys what more, on what sites and when? The platform maps out the big picture reflecting your campaign performance.


The map is not the destination

It should still not be forgotten, however, that not all consumers are willing to fill out their information at the counter, especially if they don’t see any value in it for themselves. For this reason, in-store sales tracking does not always provide accurate results. What’s more, not everyone uses the same accounts for everything they do online. This is not to say that Atlas doesn’t help immensely – on the contrary. Rather, this highlights that Atlas is only part of the marketing process. Engaging and excellent marketing efforts – digital and otherwise – are still required at the core of everything that marketers do.


Interested in hearing how Atlas 2.0 could transform your digital marketing efforts?