Red alert: Facebook has stated that a minimum 150% increase in cost per action (CPA1) will take place over the coming year in its study “Quantifying Advertiser Value of Offsite Conversion Optimisation”, published internally in June 2019. All advertisers and agencies that use the Facebook Pixel2 to feed their Facebook Business Manager are affected by this news, which impacts their media budget for their Facebook and Instagram Ads campaigns.
Why the Facebook Pixel loses effectiveness over time
The Facebook Pixel can no longer collect the same quantity and quality of events3 to populate your Facebook account – in other words, there are fewer events being collected and they don’t necessarily have all the attributes4 expected by Facebook – for several reasons:
- The increase in the use of Adblockers5 by Internet users which prevent the collection of browsing data (i.e. events expected by Facebook such as a page view, an add to cart, etc.). 44% of French Internet users aged 16 to 64 use Adblockers (according to the Digital Report 2020 for France published by We Are Social and Hootsuite).
- The blocking of third-party6 cookies by web browsers. Some browsers such as Safari (Apple) and Firefox (Microsoft) already stopped accepting third-party cookies in 2019 and others (such as Google Chrome) will follow suit. By 2022, third-party cookies will be gone from all browsers.
- The strengthening of regulations on privacy and consent management (ePrivacy, GDPR, etc.) is sensitising Internet users to better protect their personal data, which they are increasingly refusing to share in the face of this regulatory pressure. As an example, a global study conducted by Flurry shows that only 15% of users gave their consent following the launch of IOS version 14.5 and its App Tracking Transparency.
Facebook’s solution for increasing its targeting capabilities is the Conversions API
The loss of events arising from the various reasons outlined above is a problem as your Business Manager needs them to ensure that Facebook’s algorithm continues to effectively target prospects (acquisition campaigns) or customers (retargeting campaigns) on Facebook and Instagram Ads.
To remedy this situation, Facebook has developed an API to supplement the information collected by the Facebook Pixel: theFacebook Conversions API7.
his tool will allow you to retrieve online events that the Pixel no longer has access to, but also to collect offline events that were previously inaccessible.
These elements are crucial for improving your targeting and thus optimising the return on investment of your advertising budget (ROI/ROAS).
Mini glossary of keywords from websites and agencies that we like:
|1 CPA: the cost per action, or CPA, is a way of charging for advertising space or a marketing action that consists of charging the advertiser according to the results obtained during the campaign (source: Marketing Definitions). |
2 Facebook Pixel: the Facebook Pixel is a piece of code that you can place on the pages of your website. This cookie detects visitors to your site and identifies them when they perform a specific action (source: Agence Junto).
Event: in the world of Facebook, an event is simply a particular action performed by a customer (source: Ignite Visibility Digital Marketing Agency).
4 Attributes (of a Facebook event): according to the dictionary, an attribute is that which is peculiarly one’s own, belonging to someone or something. In the world of Facebook, they are the characteristics of an event that Facebook needs to identify it.
5 Ad blocker: Ad blocker is a software device that allows Internet users to block the display of advertisements on the websites they visit (source: Agence 1min30).
6 Cookies: A cookie is a small file stored by a server on a user’s terminal and associated with a web domain. This file is automatically generated for subsequent contacts with the same domain (source: CNIL).
7 Facebook Conversions API: an API, which stands for Application Programming Interface, is an interface that allows two applications to communicate with each other. The Conversions API is a Facebook Business tool that allows you to send key web and offline events or customer actions. The objective of this API is that a visitor or campaign target performs the desired action (sources : Facebook Business & Marketing Definitions).
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