Businesses are constantly pouring revenue into advertising in an effort to connect with potential customers, close sales, and increase their bottom line.
However, this task is easier said than done. Businesses used to rely on the Facebook Pixel to track customer behavior, but cookies have been falling out of favor due to privacy concerns. The Facebook Conversion Application Programming Interface (API) allows you to track individuals throughout the customer journey without worrying about ad blockers, browser restrictions, and connection errors. What exactly is the Facebook Conversion API?
The Facebook Conversion API is a native Facebook tool that empowers your business by allowing you to share both web and offline events from your server directly to Facebook’s server. Formally known as the Facebook Server-Side API, Facebook Conversion API gives every individual who engages with your website or ad, a unique ID. This unique ID enables the server to track their behavior and send it back to Facebook Conversion API, where you can analyze valuable data. Some of these data points include links clicked, abandoned carts, subscriptions, products purchased, and more. This gives your teams a host of worthwhile benefits such as personalized campaigns, increased data control, improved data accuracy, faster load times, and more. Continue reading below to find out about four things Facebook Conversion API tracks below.
Offline events help businesses gain a more complete picture of their customers and website visitors. You can track a wide array of offline events such as email conversions, app conversions, phone call conversions, in-store visits, chat conversions, system-generated conversions, system-generated conversions, and more. Facebook Conversion API gives you precise timestamps, transaction values, returned ad spend amounts, and more. You can also upload offline event data on a regular basis to minimize gaps in the reporting of significant data events. This empowers data teams by giving them the ability to identify trends, measure valuable metrics, and improve return on investment.
Data activation is probably one of the most important aspects of the modern data stack. Facebook Conversion API provides reliable data, but if you wish to make it truly actionable and useful, you might want to take advantage of Reverse Extract, Transform, and Load (ETL) to accomplish this feat. Reverse ETL helps you integrate your data from Facebook Conversion API with internal databases, logistic databases, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools such as Salesforce, Soho, and Insightly. Reverse ETL can help you achieve a 360-degree view of your customers and gain actionable insights your whole team can take advantage of. Reverse ETL increases data visibility and accessibility since all of your data is in one central location. Thanks to Reverse ETL,
The Facebook Conversion API tracks the entirety of the customer journey from the very click all the way through the checkout process. Your team can see important events such as product views, abandoned carts, related items clicked, purchases, newsletter signups, subscription changes, and more. These key events help you gain a deeper understanding of your customers, gain a good idea of what’s working and what’s not, and identify significant trends within the marketplace. Your teams within your organization can take advantage of this information and target customers, which increases the chances of closing a sale. You can also monitor exactly how customers are engaging with your content, see where you may have gone wrong, and tweak your website wherever it’s necessary to keep customers coming back for more. Combine this with the Facebook Pixel and you’ll be able to accomplish full-funnel visibility and be better prepared to drive customers towards a potential sale in the future.
One of the most important things Facebook Conversion API tracks is ad performance. You can set specific parameters to measure your ads with and track valuable metrics, which show if a specific ad is connecting with your target audience. You can also look at your data through visual tools such as graphs and charts, which might help your team discover something new about your ads. Your marketing teams have the ability to see which groups are engaging most often with your ads such as demographics, geography, interest, behavior, and more. You can take this valuable information and create more personalized campaigns that could potentially foster a positive yet lucrative outcome for your business. Plus, this data allows business leaders to allocate more revenue towards the ads that are getting the most traction, which increases your bottom line.
Tracking customer behavior and ad performance are incredibly important for any data-driven business. Facebook Conversion API is becoming more popular, especially with the presence of ad blockers, browser restrictions, Virtual Private Networks (VPN), and privacy concerns. Facebook Conversion API is beneficial for businesses both large and small, and comes with a wide array of events tracked by the valuable tool. Some of these include offline events, data activation, the customer journey, and ad performance. All of four of these components are crucial to a business’ success and are great reasons for any business to take advantage of the Facebook Conversion API sooner than later.
On email security in the era of hybrid working
With remote working the future for so many global workforces – or at least some kind of hybrid arrangement – is there an impact on email security we are all missing? Oliver Paterson, director of product management at VIPRE Security, believes so.
“The timeframe that people expect now for you to reply to things is shortened massively,” says Paterson. “This puts additional stress and pressure on individuals, which can then also lead to further mistakes. [Employees] are not as aware if they get an email with a link coming in – and they’re actually more susceptible to clicking on it.”
The cybercriminal’s greatest friend is human error, and distraction makes for a perfect bedfellow. The remote working calendar means that meetings are now held in virtual rooms, instead of face-to-face. A great opportunity for a quick catch up on a few emails during a spot of downtime, perhaps? It’s also a great opportunity for an attacker to make you fall for a phishing attack.
“It’s really about putting in the forefront there that email is the major first factor when we talk about data breaches, and anything around cyberattacks and ransomware being deployed on people’s machines,” Paterson says around education. “We just need to be very aware that even though we think these things are changing, [you] need to add a lot more security, methods and the tactics that people are using to get into your business is still very similar.
“The attacks may be more sophisticated, but the actual attack vector is the same as it was 10-15 years ago.”
This bears true in the statistics. The Anti-Phishing Working Group (APWG) found in its Phishing Activity Trends Report (pdf) in February that attacks hit an all-time high in 2021. Attacks had tripled since early 2020 – in other words, since the pandemic began.
VIPRE has many solutions to this age-old problem, and the email security product side of the business comes primarily under Paterson’s remit. One such product is VIPRE SafeSend, which focuses on misaddressed emails and prevents data leakage. “Everyone’s sent an email to the wrong person at some point in their life,” says Paterson. “It just depends how serious that’s been.”
Paterson notes one large FMCG brand, where a very senior C-level executive had the same name as someone else in the business much lower down. Naturally, plenty of emails went to the wrong place. “You try and get people to be uber-careful, but we’ve got technology solutions to help with those elements as well now,” says Paterson. “It’s making sure that businesses are aware of that, then also having it in one place.”
Another part of the product portfolio is with EDR (endpoint detection and response). The goal for VIPRE is to ‘take the complexities out of EDR management for small to medium-sized businesses and IT teams.’ Part of this is understanding what organisations really want.
The basic knowledge is there, as many organisational surveys will show. Take a study from the Enterprise Security Group (ESG) released in October in terms of ransomware preparedness. Respondents cited network security (43%), backup infrastructure security (40%), endpoint (39%), email (36%) and data encryption (36%) as key prevention areas. Many security vendors offer this and much more – but how difficult is it to filter out the noise?
“People understand they need an endpoint solution, and an email security solution. There’s a lot of competitors out there and they’re all shouting about different things,” says Paterson. “So it’s really getting down to the nitty gritty of what they actually need as a business. That’s where we at VIPRE try to make it as easy as possible for clients.
“A lot of companies do EDR at the moment, but what we’ve tried to do is get it down to the raw elements that every business will need, and maybe not all the bells and whistles that probably 99% of organisations aren’t going to need,” Paterson adds.
“We’re very much a company that puts a lot of emphasis on our clients and partners, where we treat everyone as an individual business. We get a lot of comments [from customers] that some of the biggest vendors in there just treat them as a number.”
Paterson is speaking at the Cyber Security & Cloud Expo Global, in London on December 1-2 around the rising threat of ransomware, and how the security industry evolves alongside this threat. Having a multi-layered approach will be a cornerstone of Paterson’s message, and his advice to businesses is sound.
“Take a closer look at those areas, those threat vectors, the way that they are coming into the business, and make sure that you are putting those industry-level systems in place,” he says. “A lot of businesses can get complacent and just continue renewing the same thing over and over again, without realising there are new features and additions. Misdelivery of email is a massive one – I would say the majority of businesses don’t have anything in place for it.
“Ask ‘where are the risk areas for your business?’ and understand those more, and then make sure to put those protection layers in place to help with things like ransomware attacks and other elements.”
Want to learn more about cybersecurity and the cloud from industry leaders? Check out Cyber Security & Cloud Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London.
Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.
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