At the end of October, Facebook hosted its North American Preferred Marketing Developers at their Menlo Park Campus for their biannual PMD Summit. This week they’ll run the same event in London for international PMDs. It’s a time for companies operating in the Facebook ecosystem to come together for an exchange of ideas and updates on the platform’s direction.

Facebook puts on a great show with presentations from leaders within many verticals inside the organization. This year, the emphasis was not on the scale of Facebook as a marketing channel, but the depth.

A big deal was made about ignoring the 1.15 billion active users on Facebook and, instead, focusing on how whether you’re working as a brand, or as an individual, Facebook reaches “all of the people who matter to you.” That is, there’s no value in reaching Facebook’s audience as a whole, rather the value is in access to niche audiences that only Facebook lets us target. Through the presentations, numbers flashed on the screen like:

12.8M High-end department store shoppers

9.2 Million people who are new home owners

1.1M New iPad users

30.8M Auto intenders

Much of the show focused on how Facebook is advancing the platform to make reaching those audiences even easier, while moving the platform towards simplicity.

New Custom Audiences

We’ve already talked here about the new Website-based Custom Audiences that puts retargeting within reach of all advertisers.

New Location Targeting

Facebook recently announced an improved system for targeting users based on geographic location. Previously we could drill down from country, to state, to city and zip codes, targeting users more granularly. Now users can be targeted in an open system where regions of any size can be included or excluded.

If you want to target people who live in Nevada or Japan, you can do that. If you want to target people who live in Utah, but not Salt Lake City, you can do that too.  This new process is a great example how making a system more simple allows for more complex results.

New Partner Categories

For most brands, the people who matter are those spending money. Generating page fans and social engagement is great for growing your audience, but unless that audience is transacting purchases, the value is difficult to quantify.  To help us reach likely purchases, Facebook introduced Partner Categories at the beginning of the summer. These targeting options let us find consumers of a over a thousand different product categories.

This week, Facebook and its data partners released additional categories and streamlined their organization. Now, each data provider will focus on their key verticals, eliminating some overlap and simplifying the process of selecting which categories to target.

Here are some key points about the updates:

1. 683 new categories were added and 167 categories were removed. Some of the added categories directly replaced those that were removed
2. Acxiom added the majority of the new categories with 545. Their new categories allow us to target ads based on the user’s congressional districts.
3. Acxiom removed categories related to car purchase intent, and the replaced all their categories related to home value and credit card types with updated, options.
4. Datalogix also added targeting for political regions, but broken out by senatorial districts.  Additionally, they added the categories for targeting users on their specific car model .
5. Datalogix reworked many of their categories related to consumer purchase behavior. They removed a few, but replaced them with new and more granular options.
6. Epsilon added 34 new categories breaking out purchase behavior in topics like clothing, health & beauty, and home & garden.
7. Epsilon removed categories segmenting users by profession. These types of categories are already covered by Acxiom

For easy reference, we’ve published a full list of the active Partner categories on


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Zach Greenberger
Zach Greenberger is the Founder and CEO of AdMixt, a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer focused on performance marketing.