Facebook’s New Creative Customization Product Is Changing the Way Advertisers Buy Media

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It’s no surprise that personalization was one of the most popular marketing buzzwords in 2018. Serving tailored messages to users based on their profiles improves the likelihood they will pay attention, and advertisers are in the business of attention. But despite all the potential that comes with personalization, efficiently delivering personalized ads at scale has proven very difficult for most advertisers. Facebook’s latest product innovation – Segment Asset Customization – is hoping to bridge that gap and make personalization more effective and accessible.

The advent of social media advertising promised advertisers the ability to serve personalized ads using troves of rich user data. All of a sudden, serving Jimmy an ad featuring information about his location, interests, or purchase history became a reality. But as it turned out, it wasn’t that simple. Ads on social media platforms are, for the most part, purchased via an open auction. In an open auction, it’s significantly less expensive to bid on a large cohort of users. When bidding to serve an impression to a large, broad audience, the impression is sold at a low bid. Smaller audiences, on the other hand, require higher bids, leading to increased impression costs.

This is important to consider, because in social media advertising, an audience must be bid on independently in order to serve a specific ad to a user within that audience. So if an advertiser wants to segment their target market into dozens of individual audiences to enable the delivery of personalized ads, their serving costs (CPMs) go through the roof. Because advertisers can either personalize messaging at an inflated cost or deliver generic, low-cost messaging at scale, personalized ads have essentially become a zero-sum game.

Facebook, likely aware of this challenge, recently introduced a product called Segment Asset Customization (formerly Creative Rules). It allows advertisers to serve specific creative to different subsets of a single audience, ultimately allowing advertisers to reap the benefits of serving to a broad audience (low costs) while improving performance with personalized creative. It also improves customer experience by helping brands build relationships and deliver more relevant messaging, without sacrificing their budgets in the process. This fundamentally changes the way social media ads are purchased, and is the biggest change to that process since Facebook introduced Dynamic Ads.

It’s still early, but we’re seeing an influx of demand from advertisers hoping to leverage Facebook’s Segment Asset Customization to personalize their ads at scale. It is important to note that personalizing ads requires increased creative production, which can be out of reach for some brands. We recently developed technology that works to dynamically personalize ads based on the target audience. To learn more, contact us at [email protected].