Ad Age: Acxiom Teams with Facebook in Ad Targeting Effort

Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock, along with other data services firms like Epsilon and Datalogix, is teaming with social media giant Facebook on what Ad Age calls "a new kind of ad targeting that will let brands market to users based on what they've bought in stores."

According to Ad Age:

The targeting would hypothetically enable Coca-Cola to target to teenagers who've bought soda in the last month, or Pampers to show ads to North Carolina residents who've recently bought baby products, since Facebook's own array of demographic and interest-based targeting options can be added to further refine audience segments.

The article notes that targeting will take place as a result of "anonymized matching of loyalty-program members and Facebook users through email addresses and phone numbers." Companies like Acxiom maintain databases of consumer information, including email, phone numbers, addresses and other data points, that helps companies target users with marketing messages.

We've contacted Acxiom for comment on the partnership, which seems to fit with the company's stated goals in the Scott Howe era.

The new CEO, a former Microsoft executive, has said he wants the company to move deeper into digital services, capturing the explosion of online information that increases every day.

A year ago, Howe told Arkansas Business:

"We see the world's data," he said. "But the nature of the data is changing. If 10 years ago the majority of data was a name, address and telephone number, today there's additional data elements: people's Web-surfing preferences, their search histories."

Then, Howe wants to marry that observable online information with other data sets.

"Once you get that additional data in, there's a lot more need for mining and manipulation of data."

To that end, Acxiom announced that it would invest $30 million into new research and development, including hiring 300 to 400 new employees to help crunch all that data.

Update: And now, the official notice from Facebook on the deal.