San Francisco customer data platform provider Segment wants its customers to avoid a manual spreadsheet haze of slicing and dicing data from Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. 

Today it released Segment Sources for Facebook Ads and Google AdWords. The tool pulls data directly from the Facebook Insights and AdWords reports APIs into a single view without what Segment officials call ".csv shenanigans, futzing around with a bunch of APIs, or iterating on hacky scripts."

"We started to get a lot of feedback from people struggling to understand ad spend," said Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt, co-founder of the nearly 4-year-old, 115-employee company. "They were downloading spreadsheets manually trying to make sense of how campaigns on Facebook compared to campaigns on Google."

That feedback, he said, prompted the vision for today's release.

Beyond Ad Click-Throughs

Peter Reinhardt

Reinhardt said users now have the capability to measure actions beyond ad click-throughs. It's been a tough proposition for markerters until now, he said. 

Ad platforms like Facebook and Google hold half of marketers' data: spend, impressions and clicks. The platforms require marketers to define a "conversion event," but, as Segment officials pointed out in a statement, a prospect's intentions and actions are "more nuanced than binary conversion."

"It's possible people might not sign up or purchase something but they may do something like share a link," Reinhardt said.

In other words, there is value beyond click-throughs. Too often, marketers rely on just that one metric, along with purchase data, Reinhardt said.

"They can't look at the whole path, the whole funnel, the actions downstream," he said.

Maybe a prospect ends up subscribing to a newsletter when originally they were targeted for an asset download. Or someone shares a product with a friend but didn’t buy it right away. 

Segment combines the top-of-the-funnel data with down-funnel engagement data: app engagement, revenue, sales leads, repeat purchases. Segment allows marketers to tie ad impressions and costs to in-app behavior, new sales leads and revenue. 

Segment Sources for Facebook Ads

Specifically, the new capabilities announced today help marketers:

  • Measure spend across Google and Facebook advertising channels in one dashboard
  • Analyze the conversion path of people that visit through paid campaigns
  • Prove ROI of campaigns by comparing customer acquisition cost to lifetime value

Building on Momentum

Facebook and Google represent the latest integration with Sources, which Segment released in April. It is designed to allow users to load data from a variety of systems including CRM, email and payments. 

The Segment platform integrates with Salesforce, Zendesk, Stripe, SendGrid, MailChimp, Mandrill, Intercom, HubSpot and Twilio straight into Amazon Redshift or PostgreSQL without writing a line of code

Today's integrations with Google AdWords and Facebook Ads fulfills what Reinhardt promised in April.

Segment launched in December of 2012. It claims about 8,000 customers, including Draft Kings, IBM and New Relic. It had 80 employees in April and now has 115.

This month, it announced Prashant Sridharan as its new vice president of marketing. Sridharan previously held positions at Twitter, Facebook and Amazon Web Services. 

He joins recent executive hires Rick Armbrust, Segment's vice president of partnerships, formerly of Facebook, and three ex-Dropbox executives: Adriana Roche, vice president of human resources, Zhenya Loginov, vice president of success, and Thomas "Tido" Carriero, vice president of engineering.

Title image "facebook" (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Marcus Q