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With Visual IQ, O2 and Havas Uncover the True Performance of Facebook Advertising

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Marketing and advertising today is a complex ecosystem of online and offline touchpoints that contribute to sales, conversions and other business outcomes. To optimise performance and enhance the consumer experience, marketers need a holistic view of these touchpoints and how they work together to drive desired KPIs for each audience segment.

Yet many of today’s third-party measurement providers are limited in measuring Facebook media, preventing brands from understanding the true effectiveness and ROI of Facebook inventory relative to other channels and tactics. This limitation raised questions for O2 about the business value of its social media investments.

For years, O2 and its agency partner have relied on Visual IQ’s marketing intelligence platform to measure the impact of its digital marketing and advertising. Leveraging the platform’s multi-touch attribution capabilities, the team is able to analyse consumer behaviour across channels and devices and understand how digital channels and tactics work together to drive sales of its mobile phones and mobile broadband packages.

While these insights drove significant performance improvements and spend efficiencies across O2’s digital portfolio, third-party tracking requirements on the Facebook platform prevented the company from understanding the value of Facebook relative to its other marketing investments. Without the ability to comprehensively track consumer exposure to Facebook ads across all devices, including Custom Audiences, O2 was unable to quantify the full effectiveness and ROI of its Facebook spend, or understand how the social platform worked in combination with other channels and tactics to generate mobile and mobile broadband sales.


With more than 1.65 billion monthly active users worldwide, Facebook is one of the best platforms to help deliver on the promise of people-based marketing. Thanks to the scale and depth of information it has on each user, Facebook can help marketers deliver contextually relevant ads across devices that engage each individual. ​So, when O2 wanted to drive contract renewals and pre-orders of the new Samsung Galaxy Note7, advertising on Facebook seemed like a natural fit.

Historically, however, Facebook has not allowed third parties to access its vast stores of impression data. While Visual IQ could track all ad clicks served through Facebook, it couldn’t collect all user-level ad impressions associated with Facebook properties, placements and devices, specifically Facebook Audience Network, the Facebook mobile app, or Instagram. The inability to include all Facebook advertising touchpoints in the consumer journey made it much more difficult for O2 to use multi-touch attribution to understand true cross-channel influence and make informed media investment decisions across its entire marketing portfolio, including Facebook advertising spend.

To address this problem, Visual IQ forged a partnership with Facebook to help clients like O2 understand the performance of Facebook in combination with other advertising investments. Through the partnership, Facebook now provides Visual IQ with a datafeed of user-level impression data across all their properties, placements and devices (desktop, mobile web, and mobile app). By integrating all Facebook ad impressions, Visual IQ is able to build a more complete view of each unique user’s journey for multi-touch attribution. For O2, this means a more complete understanding of Facebook’s true impact on renewals and pre-orders of the Samsung Galaxy Note7.


Visual IQ launched a pilot programme with Facebook, O2 and Havas that ensured that information about O2’s Facebook campaigns, including its Custom Audience ad placements, were included in the attribution process.

By integrating previously untracked Facebook touchpoints into the Visual IQ platform, O2 was able to eliminate blind spots and create a holistic, end-to-end view of all the marketing and advertising touchpoints that impact the consumer journey. As a result, the company was able to track the value of their Facebook investments relative to other digital channels, publishers and placements for the very first time.

Moreover, the pilot demonstrated to O2 and Havas that investments in Facebook offered real business value. Using Visual IQ’s platform, Havas was able prove that investments in Facebook alongside other digital channels and tactics would help drive the sales that O2 wanted, and in a more cost-efficient way.


Visual IQ was able to show stakeholders at O2 and Havas that Facebook was a key component of their marketing and media strategy, and uncover its value down to a granular level. For instance, the team saw converter rates improve by 16% to as high as 123% when Facebook Custom Audience placements were used in combination with other digital channels, such as affiliates, paid social and paid search.

O2 also discovered that Facebook significantly drove down the cost per acquisition for both new and existing customers when used in conjunction with other media. With Custom Audience impressions included in the tactical mix, the team saw a 52% improvement in cost efficiency for new customer acquisition, and a 38% improvement for existing customers over the course of the 30-day Samsung campaign.

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United Kingdom
September - September 2016
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