Digital Innovation Platforms
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Facebook data changes create sales opportunities for publishers

As the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica scandal continues, Facebook announced it would pull back on its relationships with data brokers. This change could be a huge opportunity for publishers.

What Exactly Did Facebook Do?

Facebook is shutting down its Partner Categories program where brands use third-party data to deliver ads to highly specific groups of people. Partner Categories, which pulled from data aggregation partnerships with companies like Epsilon and Acxiom, allowed advertisers to target customers based on behavior that happened outside Facebook. It’s the reason you can target cat owners in the Bay Area who make more than $100,000 a year.

Will Facebook’s Changes Affect Ad Buyers?

This move may have accelerated publishing companies’ ability to sell hard against Facebook, especially in the brand categories that were relying heavily on this data. A few news outlets have reported that some categories will be more affected than others — such as entertainment companies, retail or consumer packaged goods, and automotive. Small and local businesses are also most likely relying on Facebook advertising to reach their exact target customer.

What’s the Opportunity for Publishers?

Beyond the need to ramp up their first party data collection efforts, sales teams should be jumping for joy at the opportunity to discuss the latest Facebook changes with current and potential clients.

Distrust of Facebook is at an all time high (that article was written before the Cambridge Analytica scandal). Small, medium and large businesses have flocked to social media for its targeting and reach capabilities in the past few years, which is why Facebook and Google own 63% of the digital advertising spend. So what would it mean to your business if suddenly even 5% of that was up for grabs?

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