AI in Analytics & Facebook proximity marketing

by Tam Al-Saad - Get more articles like this sent to your email here


Hi, I’m Tam and today I’m going to be talking about recent features from Google and Facebook that show where the future of marketing is heading.

First off, a little confession. I’m a bit of a data geek.

I recently commended a colleague on a spreadsheet that he put together, even though it had nothing to do with me. I was just impressed at how he displayed the information people needed in a really easy way.

Now, being a digital marketer with a borderline obsession with data, I spend a lot of time in Google Analytics.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I saw that you’ll soon be able to ask Analytics a question about your data, and get a succinct answer.

It won’t tell you where to look for it or give you the full report and let you work it out, it gives you the exact number.

An example Google use in their demonstration video is “What was my revenue last month desktop vs mobile?”. This feature isn’t available yet, but I can’t wait for it to arrive.


Well, a simple question like this can take a minute or two to answer, and that’s speaking as someone who understands analytics pretty well and knows where to look for it.

The quicker it is to answer these, the more questions you can ask, and the more insights you can gain, allowing you to make better decisions, faster.

There’s been a lot of talk in the last few years about the role of artificial intelligence in marketing. A lot of the time the application of AI seems huge, too big for most businesses to even use, but this analytics feature is a way that all marketers can take advantage and spend time on strategy, the one area a robot can’t help with.


Facebook now allows you to target people who have visited your stores or branches.

Using the location settings on a user’s phone, Facebook will let you to build a custom audience of people who have been in your real world locations.

Think of it as similar to remarketing of someone who visits your website, but likely with a much stronger connection to your brand as they’ve actually made an effort to visit.

A lot has been made about the rise of mobile in marketing and how it’s changed the game.

In my opinion though, the conversation is usually around being able to reach users all of the time, or while they’re using a device.

This new feature is different, it talks about a growing approach known as proximity marketing.

Proximity marketing, at its most targeted, uses devices called beacons to communicate with user’s mobile phones.

These beacons are installed by brands in stores to pass data letting them know that a visitor has entered, or is in a specific part of the store.

They can then send them a notification letting them know about special offers, or even remind them of what items they viewed online.

Some of the bigger brands have been doing this for a few years, the American department store Macy’s was an early adopter and a colleague recently remarked to me about seeing an ad on Facebook for a Samsung television she had seen in Harvey Norman earlier that day.

Though it’s not quite the same, my prediction is that this Facebook feature is the first step towards them rolling out a more comprehensive proximity marketing solution for retailers who don’t have the same budgets as Macy’s or Samsung.

I wouldn’t be surprised if they started providing the beacons to business to enable them to do it.

Watch this space.

Well, that’s all from me today but I’d love to know what you think.

Leave a comment below, and I’ll be back soon with more.

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Tam Al-Saad

Tam Al-Saad

Head of Growth at Webprofits
A well-rounded and entrepreneurial individual with more than 12 years experience in working with and launching startups, Tam is skilled at managing multiple products simultaneously. With a strong digital marketing background and broad business experience, he’s perfectly suited to head up Web Profit’s marketing initiatives as Head of Growth.

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