Facebook lets marketers better reach audience segments

Marketers in Australia will soon have access to a new feature that allows them to reach audience segments based on people’s interests off Facebook.

Facebook is set to launch a new feature that gives marketers the ability to create a more relevant ad experience for people on Facebook using their interests.

The new partner categories allow marketers to reach their audiences based on the brands and products people buy. To date, advertisers on Facebook have been able to show ads to people based on their expressed interests, such as age, gender, favourite activities and city they live. Now, with partner categories, a marketer can also show ads on Facebook to people who, for instance, have previously purchased a particular product or service.

According to the social media giant, partner categories are targeting clusters created by its third-party data providers. Partner categories in Australia will use data from Facebook’s select partners including Acxiom, Experian and Quantium.

The partner categories are defined by partner data matching and have a packaged targeting option to reach people on Facebook based on their off-Facebook activity. Australia is the first market in Asia-Pacific to open up partner categories.

Facebook Australia and New Zealand managing director, Will Easton, said the new feature allows marketers to connect in a new and exciting way.

“Today we are announcing arguably one of our most exciting and innovative new product solutions in the Australian market,” he said. “As a result of new partnership agreements with Australia’s three largest data providers, Quantium, Acxiom and Experian, Facebook advertisers will now be able to connect with potential audiences in ways not seen before in digital advertising.”

Already, major brands are applauding the new partnership as alleviating multiple challenges in Australia’ rapidly evolving digital landscape. Nestlé’s head of media, Antonia Farquhar, said the multitude of touch points and platforms is creating a real challenge for many brand marketers to reach their target consumer.

“While many know that data is a crucial factor in the next big wave of innovation – which brands are embracing that and doing it well?” she said. “Our recent campaign for Nestlé Purina using partner categories on Facebook allowed us, for the very first time, to target actual pet owners, not just animal lovers. The results have been fantastic, and set a new precedent in how we find our consumers on Facebook."

Medibank’s marketing and brand general manager, Tamalin Morton also recognised that having a deep understanding of people is crucial for the health fund provier to remain relevant in a rapidly changing and competitive environment.

“We constantly strive to know more about our customers, to be in the places they need us to be, when they need us,” she said. “Having the ability to tailor our communications enables us to build trust and helps maintain our position as market leader.”

David Jones’ general manager of marketing communications, Victoria Doidge, said personally connecting with key customer segments is at the heart of the David Jones' customer strategy and recognises that data can play a big part in moving customer engagement forward.

“Especially on platforms like Facebook and Instagram, where so many of our customers spend so much time,” she added. “We are excited about the launch of partner categories for Facebook and Instagram, which will allow us to bring even more relevant messaging and inspiration to our customers.”

Acxiom managing director, Dean Capobianco, said the partnership offers great choice and combines Facebook's scale and engagement with the ability to target people using rich segments and powerful data insights.

“We’re very excited to be part of Facebook’s partner categories and further extend our services and expertise to marketers across the country,” he said. “We look forward to working with Facebook to continually reshape the world of marketing for advertisers.”

According to Quantium CEO, Adam Driussi, the partnership with Facebook will enable advertisers to connect with their audience at scale, based on a clearer understanding of actual shopping behaviours.

“The partnership with Facebook is the next stage in Quantium’s strategy of connecting advertisers directly with shoppers, via powerful media partnerships,” he added.

Follow CMO on Twitter: @CMOAustralia, take part in the CMO Australia conversation on LinkedIn: CMO Australia, join us on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/CMOAustralia, or check us out on Google+: google.com/+CmoAu

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