Measure People, Not Cookies

By Robb Beck | Senior Analyst, Digital Marketing

Here at HMH we’ve had a chance to experiment with Facebook Analytics. Given that the tool is relatively new, we’re sharing a quick review.


But what is it?

To wrap your head around the new tool, it’s important to note Facebook’s sales pitch, as Julian from MeasureSchool pointed out. In a recent ad, Facebook positioned itself as a rival to Google Analytics, stating: “Measure People, Not Cookies.”

Well played, Facebook.

As far as we can tell, Facebook delivers on this key differentiator. Rather than solely tracking quantitative site session data (cookies), Facebook brings to the table the user data collected on its social platform.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock for the last few years, you know that this is a whole lot of data.

Below are just a few of the qualitative or user-data points Facebook Analytics provides:

  • Job titles of visitors
  • Household income
  • Purchase behavior
  • Lifestyle categories

And, my personal favorite: the various page likes and affinities of visitors, segmented by relevance to your own business.



Of course, it remains to be seen whether this user-based data will deliver, as well as its accuracy.

So, should we stop using Google Analytics?


First, Google Analytics holds your legacy data – all those sessions, events, pageviews that you’ve been tracking over the years. You’re going to want to hold onto that.

Second, Google Analytics has seen the writing on the wall and is not about to be undone. In addition to sessions and pageviews, Google now delivers user and “Audience” based metrics as well, though not quite to the degree of Facebook analytics – at least not yet.

We should use both?


Both analytics platforms are essential to any data-driven marketer. Here at HMH, we’re planning to experiment with both tools, to play them off one another. We think you should too.

More to come as we continue to dive in.