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Today’s post is by Jai Toor, media analyst at Ampush.
Facebook recently released partner categories, a massive extension of its targeting options based on offline transaction data from three of the biggest names in the data business: Datalogix, Acxiom, and Epsilon. These third-party data companies provide segments that reach groups ranging from purchase habits of consumer packaged goods to insurance buyers and lifestyle targeting, such as “Fit Moms” and “Spa Mavens.”
Partner categories are another fantastic way for businesses, especially retail and e-commerce, to show relevant advertising to likely purchasers in order to increase conversion rates and return on investment.
Partner categories leverage data gathered by third-party offline data sources, including surveys and customer loyalty cards, to create audience segments to reach hyper-targeted consumers. Since purchase history is the strongest signal of product affinity, partner categories will further improve conversion rates and decrease cost per acquisition for your direct response campaigns.
In a test of partner categories, Ampush saw conversion rate for a daily deals client increase by an average of 20%. For example, a golf-related daily deal with the “Golf and Tennis” category had a 26% higher conversion rate than similarly designed keyword targeting. In a separate test, lifestyle targeting increased conversion rates 15% against keyword targeting.
The ROI increase for direct sales advertisers is enormous. Offline retailers now have the ability to replace expensive and low-conversion direct mail campaigns with more flexible and responsive online targeting, thereby reducing acquisition costs significantly. At the same time, online retailers can improve conversions and utilize oCPM bidding and conversion tracking to acquire new users, drive purchases, and increase engagement.
For e-commerce and retail verticals, partner categories can improve the reach of likely purchasers, therefore improving the ROI of Facebook ad spend. Partner categories improve reach and offer the benefit of third-party data to all marketers. Consumers will continue to see relevant ads, as categories continue to develop based on the most recent transaction data. The third-party data company partners have decades of experience helping retailers increase sales via data analysis and custom targeting. Accessible, offline targeting data at this scale will improve the ad experience of Facebook users and demonstrate the benefit of Facebook marketing for advertisers.
Audience specification options vary greatly, as there are over 400 different categories from the three data partners. From household income to consumer packaged goods purchase information, the options are endless and will likely continue to grow.
When combined with the rest of Facebook’s audience options, one can create geo-specific, highly relevant consumer targeting groups (e.g. Phoenix-area moms who have toddlers and like to run for exercise), and then leverage social context (do you need a sun shield for your jogging stroller, faithful REI customer?) to launch an efficient and cost-effective advertising campaign that can reach both new clients as well as repeat customers.
So who should be using partner categories? Anyone selling a product. When utilized alongside custom audiences, keyword targeting, FBX retargeting, compelling creative, and News Feed placement, Facebook is quickly positioning itself as the go-to advertising platform for social demand and lead generation, and is an essential part of any multi-channel marketing effort.
– Jai Toor is a Media Analyst at Ampush, a technology-driven online marketing company and a Preferred Marketing Developer on Facebook’s Ads platform that helps advertisers turn clicks into digestible customer actions. Jai is a recent graduate of UC Berkeley with a B.A. in Economics.