Last month, Facebook released “Partner Categories,” a byproduct of a partnership with Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon that allows advertisers to leverage a wealth of online and offline data.

How do Partner Categories differ from traditional Facebook categories? Instead of a target audience that only breaks down by gender, location, age, etc., you can target with more precision, from “Auto Enthusiasts” or “Corporate Execs” to “Flower Buyers” or those who do most of their shopping online, as opposed to offline.

These targeting options are sure to pique more advertisers’ interest, so what follows is a brief how-to, and an outline of some of the key benefits of the new feature.

How to Find Partner Categories

Partner Categories can be found within the Facebook Ad Manager under Power Editor. After selecting the ad you’d like to edit, you can browse through Partner Categories under the Audience section.

facebook partner categories

There are three databases to choose from: Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon.

database of partner categories

Though they all cover similar categories, such as “Lifestyles”, sub-categories vary. Datalogix and Epsilon, for example, both have “Lifestyle” categories, but one seems to focus more on charitable lifestyles while the other focuses on what user activities suggest about their lifestyle. So where one database may not have the target audience you’re looking for, you can count on the other databases to fulfill that need.

Benefits

Acxiom, Datalogix, and Epsilon have provided plenty of useful data that’s already by pre-digested and analyzed; all you have to do is find the categories relevant to your business.

Additionally, you now have access to a much more qualified set of users. Imagine the increased CVR you will get by targeting at a much more granular level: purchase history, jobs, lifestyle, etc. For example, f you’re a business that sells paint, tools, etc., you can specifically target “DIYers”, allowing your ads to reach an audience that is relevant.

targeting with partner categories

The Partner Categories should prove to be especially beneficial to retailers and those in the e-commerce industry. Datalogix, for example, is a great partner category for targeting buyers with specific interests and tastes.

With Mother’s Day coming up, advertisers selling chocolates may want to target users who fall under within the “Flowers” category under “Gift & Flower Buyers”, as chocolates are both an alternative and complementary gift to flowers.  And if you consider the various niche categories that you can target, from “Affluent Baby Boomers” to “Business Travelers”, it is inevitable that you will find a partner category that fits your business.

interests data partner categories

Epsilon also provides advertisers with other audience segments for retailers, specifically e-commerce. One of Epsilon’s categories, “Online Buyers”, specifically targets consumers who make a majority of their purchases online. By giving advertisers the option to identify a more granular target audience, they are able to generate more quality leads without spending an unnecessary amount of ad dollars.

options for partner categories

Enhanced targeting features are always something to embrace because they help the industry converge towards the ideal that is 1:1 marketing. Think of the amount of time and analysis that goes into marrying online and offline data, and how Partner Categories is doing this for you. You can use your time to focus on the right targets and your key demographics. There’s no reason to ignore this powerful marketing tool.

1 Comment

  1. Dennis Yu May 11th, 2013

    Audrey– Partner Categories are KILLER! Thanks for sharing.

    By the way, there are over 500 categories, but some folks may see only a couple dozen. We have the full list with audience count size for you at blitzmetrics.com. Just scroll to the bottom to download the list.

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Audrey Cueto
Audrey Cueto is a marketing specialist at SearchForce, a leading provider of online search and social media technology. She writes about the fundamentals of Facebook PPC.