FACEBOOK ANNOUNCED THAT THEY WILL BE SHUTTING DOWN PARTNER CATEGORIES IN THE COMING (SIX) MONTHS
Let’s go ahead and explain a little more about what Partner Categories are (soon to be “were), as well as what this means for both advertisers as well as consumers.
WHAT ARE PARTNER CATEGORIES/THIRD-PARTY DATA?
Let’s start off by stating the fact that this form of targeting is nothing new, and has actually been around for quite some time now, Partner Categories/Third-Party data has been around (for certain countries) for over 5 years.
The simplest way to explain what Partner Categories are is the following: Facebook doesn’t necessarily have an easy way to gather in-depth information about users, talking about very specific information, such as when people are likely to move, or likely to travel. In order to make Facebook a more accurate advertising platform, Facebook partners with Third-Party data providers, in most cases, data mining companies.
These partners have information on people based on their activities away from Facebook and can (soon to be could) be used (anonymously) as targeting criteria by advertisers.
Here’s an example from Jon Loomer:
“A car dealership wants to reach people in the market for a car. Partner Categories can help an advertiser reach those who are not only in the market for a car, but those who currently own a particular model.”
To add to that, not only who owns a particular car model, but also who owned a particular make at some point in their lives.
Facebook integrates Partner Categories into “Detailed Targeting” within an ad set. Facebook also let’s us (advertisers) know which partner specifically is the one supplying such information.
HOW MANY PARTNER CATEGORIES ARE THERE?
There are hundreds of these Partner Categories, but only within seven countries.
- Australia: Acxiom, Experian, Greater Data, and Quantium
- Brazil: Experian
- France: Acxiom
- Germany: Acxiom
- Japan: Acxiom and CCC
- United Kingdom: Acxiom, Experian, and Oracle Data Cloud (formerly DLX)
- United States: Acxiom, Epsilon, Experian, Oracle Data Cloud (formerly DLX), TransUnion, and WPP
WHAT ARE SOME OF THE TARGETING OPTIONS THAT PARTNER CATEGORIES GIVE (GAVE)?
Examples of Partner Categories targeting include the following:
- Automotive shoppers
- Company size
- Charitable donations
- Credit union member
- Corporate executives
- Retail purchase behavior
- Likely to move
- Business travelers
HOW DO PARTNER CATEGORIES WORK?
Let’s say you perform an action outside of the Facebook platform. The data mining companies collect and store your information. What happens next? You guessed it, they pass on this information to Facebook, and Facebook is then able to match this information to your Facebook profile/user ID.
Facebook then makes this information available to advertisers that will allow them (us) to deliver relevant ads based on things that individual users may be interested in.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN FOR YOUR BUSINESS?
Firstly we do want to mention that this change is going to primarily affect the united states, why? Because the U.S. was the country with the most access to this information as a means of targeting capabilities.
Does this mean that Partner Categories are gone for good? Yes, according to Facebook, but not yet. As Facebook stated, these changes will be slowly rolled out within the next six months, so advertisers and business owners are still able to capitalize on this advantage for some time.
THIS COMES WITH SOME GOOD NEWS
Most advertisers (including us) did not rely heavily on Partner Categories, as we are able to use interest based targeting and information that comes directly from Facebook to get very narrow as to who we want to serve ads to. There are interests and other Facebook categories that are very similar or related to Partner Categories that many were using.
What are your thoughts on Facebook removing the ability to target based on Third-Party data? Leave a comment!