People Level Measurement Is Central To Marketing Analytics At Facebook

An interview with Facebook's Marketing Science lead, Dominic Williamson


As Facebook's Marketing Science lead, Dominic Williamson's role involves working with clients to conduct in-depth analysis into the effectiveness and optimization of advertising on Facebook. He has a wealth of experience across his 13 year career, which has seen him work at companies including eBay, dunnhumby, and JCDecaux. We sat down with him ahead of his presentation at the Marketing Analytics Innovation, taking place in Chicago this May 19-20.

How did you get started in Marketing Analytics?

As a psychology graduate, I saw clear parallels between Marketing Analytics and the wider study of human behaviour. I began on the media owner side with JCDecaux and then moved to analysis consultancy, dunnhumby. I was immediately attracted to the wealth of data available at the consumer level and this led to a role on the client-side with eBay (and even more data). I quickly recognized the value of people level measurement and moved over to Facebook where this is core to the philosophy of the company.

How is the approach to Marketing Analytics different at your company/ what do you do differently?

As above, people level measurement is central to what we do at Facebook. This takes out a host of assumptions and allows us to be as objective as possible. This is key to the strength of analysis as true optimization can only come through honest measurement.

How have you seen analytics within marketing develop over the last 10 years?

The wealth of data available to marketers has allowed for more informed targeting and greater efficiency. This also means more accountability across the board. As marketers come to appreciate the value of this there has been a shift in mindset and a sense of rationalism has swept the industry. Old habits die hard but the inherent value of correctly using data is moving from a competitive advantage to a pre-requisite for marketers.

Are there any innovations in the data science space that have been real ‘game-changers’?

Given the sheer amount of data now available there’s always a danger of over-fit. So things that look great in theory may fail to materialize in practice. The drive for practical application and replicability will be the true game-changer.

What will you be discussing in your presentation?

People-based marketing analysis, optimization, and results.

You can hear more about Dominic, along with other industry leaders, at the Marketing Analytics Innovation Summit, taking place in Chicago this May 19-20.


Image courtesy of Evan Lorne/

University lecture small

Read next:

How Are Higher Education Institutions Using Analytics?