RIP Facebook Pixel: How to Target the Right Audience without Tracking

Facebook and Google are disrupting the way you track and retarget audiences with digital ads, but what's left might be even more valuable.

Digital ads are typically the #1 source for website traffic, and retargeting ads specifically have a major impact on traffic by targeting customers who you know have already been to your site at least once. These users are more likely to click on ads, with specific campaigns bringing in 83% of their intended audience

Traditionally, retargeting ads are the backbone of digital ads strategy and they’ve been relatively easy to execute using tracking tools like the Facebook Pixel. However, Apple and Google are both making changes to block this kind of tracking, and it’s turning into a massive challenge for automotive marketers. 

Without access to visitor data, dealerships will be left without the tools they’ve relied on for years to increase website and VDP views. However, that doesn’t mean it’s time to give up hope. With the right strategy, dealers can continue to connect with their ideal audience online. 

How Retargeting Helped Dealers Reach More Customers

Once your dealership has started buying more of the right cars, the next step is finding the right buyers. That’s exactly what makes retargeting so much more effective than traditional spray-and-pray display advertising.

In fact, retargeting campaign ads are 70% more likely to convert customers compared to normal display ads and have a 10x higher click-through rate (CTR).

This has been especially important on Facebook, where the average cost-per-click (CPC) for automotive ads is much higher compared to other industries. Since its introduction in 2013, Facebook Pixel has made it easy for dealers to retarget specific audiences across Facebook and Instagram in order to save money and reach ready-to-buy customers.

What Updates to iOS & Google Mean for Pixel Tracking

Unfortunately, the status-quo for Facebook remarketing has been completely disrupted. Growing privacy concerns prompted Apple to allow users to block pixel tracking on iOS – and Google is expected to follow suit later this year for Android users. 

With mobile visitors representing a whopping 95% of traffic to your dealers’ websites, these changes are stopping you from being able to retarget a huge portion of your website visitors. 

Unfortunately, that’s not all. In response, Facebook is actually planning on doing away with Pixel completely starting in 2022 and Google has plans to stop tracking cookies around the same time. 

These changes mean that dealers need to reimagine how they find and connect with customers across social media. But just because we can’t track and build audiences with pixels and cookies doesn’t mean targeting is dead – it’s just going to require some creative engineering to make it work.

What Updates to iOS & Google Mean for Pixel Tracking

While pixel tracking has become an invaluable marketing asset, it’s also important to remember that it’s not your dealership’s only source of consumer data.

Your CRM collects invaluable Primary Customer Data for leads, appointments, purchases, and even acquisitions: 

  • Phone numbers
  • Email addresses
  • Dates of birth 
  • Gender 
  • Location

This data is way more valuable than just knowing who visited your website, because it represents people who actually initiated an opportunity.

You can take advantage of this data by sending it to Facebook and taking advantage of it in two ways: Yes you can retarget leads that haven’t made a purchase yet, but you can also tell Facebook to create an audience that shares similar profiles to your customers. 

What does that mean? 

Facebook has more data on individuals than anyone. Think about all the pages you liked, the comments you made, the links you clicked, the groups you joined. When you give Facebook a list of leads and customers, they use the millions of data points they have about those individuals to target people with similar demographics, interests, and behaviors. 

The resulting audience, called a “Lookalike Audience,” is the most powerful and valuable digital targeting tool you can have because it’s based on real customer data. That means your ads are more likely to be delivered to more likely buyers than ever before. 

VINCUE's Crash Course TO Custom & Lookalike Audiences

1 Create a Custom Audience using Customer List.
First you need to head over to your Facebook Business Manager and go to your audiences section. Click on “Create Audience” and then select “Customer List.” 

2 Prepare Your Customer List.
The next step is to upload your Primary Customer Data from your CRM in the form of a CSV or TXT file. Fortunately, Facebook provides a template that you can use to ensure this information is organized according to their system.

3 Map Your Audience Identifiers.
Facebook uses this data (email addresses, phone numbers, etc.) to match with users on Facebook. You’ll need to go through and manually identify which column contains which identifying piece of information. Depending on how much data you provide, Facebook is typically able to match between 60-80% of the customers on your list.

4 Create a Lookalike Audience.
Once you’ve created a Custom Audience using CRM data, you can create a Lookalike Audience based on the matched Facebook users. This lets you target and serve ads to buyers in your network who share similar characteristics such as age, gender, income, and interests with your existing customers.

VINCUE Boost™ Handles the Heavy Lifting of Digital Ads & Targeting in a Post-Pixel World

The loss of tracking data collected by Pixel definitely stings. Fortunately, dealers who take the time to collect and upload their CRM data to Facebook can still target their ideal audience through the platform. However, in today’s high-demand environment, time is a commodity many dealers simply don’t have.

VINCUE Boost™ is a revolutionary digital advertising platform that helps dealers reach online customers and maximize ad spend without an in-house tech genius or an expensive agency.

Using our built-in integrations, we can save you time and effort by automatically syncing and uploading CRM and inventory data to Facebook. From there we can match the right cars to the right people using eye-catching custom ads that capture and convert buyers across Facebook, Instagram, and the Google Ad Network.


RIP Facebook Pixel: How to Target the Right Audience without Tracking

Schedule Test Drive

We get it, change is hard. But when you think about getting rid of multiple systems and replacing them with better data and better tools, maybe it’s worth a look. Let us give you a free demonstration of VINCUE and show you what your world could look like. 


Created by dealers, for dealers, VINCUE is based on data and built for the modern automotive industry. 

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