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Partner categories are a method of ad targeting that allows brands to market to users based on the users’ online purchasing histories. Partner categories adds an additional targeting dimension using data based on their previous purchasing history with the social network insisting that users privacy is not compromised by the tool.

Let’s assume you sell luxury watches, you can target people who have previously purchased a watch and even the type of brand, and who lives close to your catchment area. You can also target people who have purchased luxury watches at least five years ago who might be looking to purchase again. Whereas the shop might only have been able to deliver advertising based on simple demographics and interests, partner categories include a mix of transactional data, survey information and other online and offline behaviours.  This means you can target the audience that is most likely to make a purchase.

With Facebook’s partners data giants Acxiom and Datalogix, the service launched with 500 partner categories in the US last April and has expanded to offer more than 1000 with the platform believing that there is significant opportunity ahead as they continue to improve targeting capabilities. In fact Marketers in the UK, Germany and France now have access to this new feature as popularity in the ability to create more relevant advertising grows.

Lorry Destainville – Product Development Director @ Glow

FACEBOOK PARTNER CATEGORIES; HOW BRANDS DELIVER MORE POWERFUL ADVERTISING USING FACEBOOK 1Targeting your Facebook ads using data from Acxiom and Datalogix allows you to reach out and segment by a number of categories including petrol, department, store card, travel, entertainment, health and beauty, computer electronics and so on. You can also reach purchasers based on their spending method and whether the purchaser uses cash or credit. There is no personal information provided about the users and advertisers are able to choose its advertising route based on the size of audience included in the category.

Facebook also has additional targeting options that can be added such as demographic and interest-based targeting options to further refine audience segments. The targeting functionality is anonymised through matching third party data which include email addresses and phone numbers along with encrypted Facebook user ID’s, to adhere to stringent US and EU privacy laws. Facebook said that no data will be shared between Facebook, third parties or advertisers.

Partner Categories was designed to micro-target specific sets of consumers based on their in-store purchase intent and buying behaviours, in turn creative can be customized with highly relevant ad copy to deliver the most effective message.

Brands can target ads to use as by category, such as users whose behaviour created interest and based on their activities both on the social network and elsewhere on the web including mobile and offline.

Facebook said “Partner categories are targeting clusters created by our 3rd party data providers. It is a packaged targeting option to reach the kinds of people advertisers want to find on Facebook, based on these people’s off-Facebook activity. These categories are most similar to Broad Categories but are defined by partner data matching.”

The Glow Machine is a next generation social advertising platform, which helps advertisers build, manage and optimize their Facebook ad campaigns at scale. Developed in conjunction with some of the largest and most sophisticated Facebook ad agencies in Europe & North America, it gives greater control over how, where and when ads are displayed to the target audience.

For example, US Bank required our expertise in direct response on Facebook to acquire approved credit card registrations below their target Cost per Lead (CPL). By using a variety of optimization and targeting options in conjunction with Acxiom’s Partner Categories we were able to exceed US Bank’s set objectives.

Beginning with the initial campaign phase, split testing was implemented to establish best performing demographics, ad units and bid options. The company was able to quickly identify the best route towards moving to scale. Ads were delivered to both Newsfeed and Right Hand Side, to gender neutral ages 25-54, split into 3-5 year brackets, in the US only. Immediately a number of key learning’s were established, such as seeing how Unpublished Photo and Link Page Posts out performed right-hand side “Standard” Ads by 110%.

Based on the findings from the test phase, the second phase involved moving spend towards the best performing campaign attributes. At this point we introduced the use of Acxiom’s Partner Categories which were able to deliver a new dynamic element to the campaign, in depth data was matched to individual Facebook user ID’s. Specific user groups were targeted based on Acxiom’s data on credit card intenders, frequent credit card users, those who shopped with competitors and who made purchases at luxury, upscale, high-end department stores.

Using attractive creative and strong calls to action – ‘Apply Today, Click here’, we were able to drive the top performing ad unit, which generated over 60% of all approved or conditionally approved credit card applications in addition to generating over 1,500 Page Likes. The overall campaign Cost Per Lead was lowered by 40% making this a very successful campaign for US Bank.

The aim of Facebook Partner Categories is to help brands create stronger connections with the consumer online in order to acquire new customers through highly targeted advertising. Partner Categories has been designed to leverage insights beyond the social persona and early indicators suggest that the investment in this new technology is a welcomed addition.

Lorry Destainville – Product Development Director

Joining Glow Media in early 2013 as a Product Development Director, Lorry brings with him an unparalleled expertise in social media marketing, having established his reputation working for some of the major platforms in the social space. With broad experience in digital marketing, Lorry has worked for both MySpace in Paris and Facebook in Dublin. Combining his expertise in Facebook’s advertising solution with his aptitude for understanding customer business problems, Lorry became the natural link between Facebook engineering / product leaders and their biggest advertisers in EMEA.