Guest Post: Advertisers Likely to Flock to Facebook’s New Self-Serve Targeting Feature

This is a guest post by Resolution Media Director of Client Strategy and Development George Manas.

Marketers seeking better ways to reduce waste, influence buying behavior and strengthen brand equity are likely to embrace Facebook Partner Categories. Launched on April 10, this new self-service capability puts a rich array of data-driven targeting segments at advertisers’ fingertips, helping increase the precision, relevance and effectiveness of their Facebook campaigns.

Partner Categories uniquely combines data describing both the online and offline purchasing behavior of consumers in more than 500 segments and relies on data from third-party firms Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon. Marketers of all sizes can benefit from Partner Categories’ easy access and no-minimum-spend requirement.

The new service is the latest in a series of targeting enhancements introduced by Facebook to improve advertisers’ results. Partner Categories likely will attract as many or more advertisers as has Facebook’s recently launched Custom Audiences program, which provides the ability to import customer data to improve targeting.

Partner Categories integrates with other targeting options within Power Editor (Facebook’s advanced self-serve platform) and is available through select paid media APIs. U.S.-based advertisers can begin using Partner Categories immediately, while advertisers based in other countries must be white-listed to use the service and may only target U.S. consumers at this time.

Although we see almost daily examples of new technology empowering the consumer’s evolution, it’s important to also acknowledge the vital impact of new advertiser services like Partner Categories, which keep marketers ahead of the curve.

Making It Work

Advertisers can leverage Partner Categories in designing Facebook buys through the Power Editor interface, selecting specific consumer segments much as they would select Facebook’s native targeting segments like Age, Gender, Broad and Precise Interests, and so forth. As with other Facebook targeting services, the advertiser only sees the size of the audience and receives no information about individuals included in a category.

To further refine targeted buying, advertisers may combine Partner Categories with native Facebook targeting filters, Custom Audiences and Lookalike Audience options. For example, an advertiser might target female yogurt buyers under age 35 by layering gender and age parameters to the “Yogurt Buyer” Partner Category segment. The ability to combine both native and third-party data gives greater depth and precision to the Facebook buy.

Partner Categories delivers three key benefits to marketers. First, it minimizes wasted spending by more precisely reaching and engaging the consumers that matter most to them, boosting cost efficiency and effectiveness.

Second, the service enables advertisers to influence buying behavior by delivering brand messages and incentives to consumers who are category buyers or in market for specific products. As such, Partner Categories can help drive purchases or influence purchase decisions.

Third, Partner Categories can build brand equity by providing advertisers with additional opportunities to drive visibility of their brands and branded content to core consumer segments at scale. Combined with Facebook’s self-serve targeting flexibility, Partner Categories enables advertisers to boost brand relevancy by delivering messages tailored to the precise purchasing behaviors of specific consumer segments.

Facebook’s Partner Categories demonstrates Facebook’s commitment to helping marketers better reach and engage the consumers who are most important to them. Advertisers can expect Partner Categories to help drive sales, build brand health, and ultimately achieve better ROI and more effective media buying.

George Manas is Director of Client Strategy and Development at Omnicom Media Group’s Resolution Media. Specializing in Search and Social Media, George helps some of the world’s most recognized brands navigate the transforming digital landscape that has become so central to today’s consumer. PepsiCo, Warner Bros, Discovery Networks, and Showtime stand among some of the brands with whom George has worked.