Facebook Relaunches Atlas, Provides Cross-Device Tracking

Data should underpin your digital marketing strategy. But as the digital marketplace changes, and consumers begin using new technologies, it’s often difficult to make sense of the data at hand, especially when a consumer journey is made up of multiple sites, platforms and devices.

For those who have been in the digital industry for ten years or more, you may remember Atlas as being the original PPC bid management tool of choice for many brands. Fast forward to the current day, and after being snapped up from Microsoft in early 2013, Facebook has not only provided a new user interface, but has helped rebuild Atlas from the ground up.

Facebook is boldly claiming that it has solved the “cross-device problem” for marketers, removing the cookie tracking issue, and providing true insights into campaign effectiveness.

In their company blog post, Atlas head Erik Johnson highlighted the key problems Atlas is newly-designed to solve.

” Cookies don’t work on mobile, are becoming less accurate in demographic targeting and can’t easily or accurately measure the customer purchase funnel across browsers and devices or into the offline world. “

Facebook already offers marketers a way of tracking users across devices but not across other sites, meaning data analysts have to crunch the numbers to work out a true customer journey.

Facebook describes it’s approach as “people-based marketing,” where advertisers can follow users across devices. For today’s “multifaceted brand journeys”, Atlas can tell advertisers if someone saw their ad on, for example, their smartphone, and then made a purchase from their laptop, or vice versa. Atlas also says that it will be able to connect online ad impressions with offline sales.

Facebook's Atlas Benefits

The benefits of the new platform, according to Atlas

This is a timely announcement, as Atlas also states that the impressions from Instagram’s new ads will also be enabled in the new platform.

It is still early days, but if Atlas does what it says on the tin, it could be big news for the digital marketing industry, and help streamline a lot of data exporting, importing, analysis and reporting of customer journeys, which is currently eating up a lot of time and resource for many brands. Given the speed at which mobile and tablet device visits are growing, Atlas could revolutionise the accuracy, effectiveness and accountability of mobile advertising, and remedy a lot of headaches.

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