How to Continue Using Third-Party Data
for Facebook Targeting

By Mark Fantino

Facebook has long been part of the CPG marketer’s arsenal as a key channel to drive conversion.  However, as you may have heard, Facebook’s Partner Categories Program (third-party data natively available in Facebook Ads Manager used for targeting) is beginning to phase out on August 14, leaving many CPG marketers confused about their options moving forward. Here are the top five things you should know about this change at Facebook:

  1. You’ll still be able to use third-party data on Facebook. Despite Partner Categories going away, marketers will still have the ability to leverage third-party data to reach their ideal targets – it is only the process for doing so that is changing. 
  2. Advertisers will now be responsible for data use consent. With the removal of Partner Categories, Facebook is going to require advertisers to agree to additional terms designed to ensure that the data being used on their platform was collected with the appropriate consent.
  3. Purchase-based targeting is still the best way to drive sales. For CPG marketers looking to drive conversion, purchase-based targeting is still the gold standard. As 95% of CPG purchases still happen in the store, and due to the short purchase cycle of CPG items, the best predictor of a future purchase is a historical purchase.
  4. Now’s a good time for due diligence before working with a specific data provider, or to revisit important aspects with existing providers. You’ll want to ask the following questions of potential new or existing data providers: 1) When was the purchase data that’s being used to build the audience sourced? 2) How much actual purchase data is in the provider’s audience? 3) From where was the purchase data sourced? 4) How much deterministic purchase behavior data is used in each audience? 5) Is the provider consultative and can offer different options and provide recommendations to maximize return?
  5. Audiences can be made available to your Facebook desk in a number of ways. For example, through the use of onboarders such as LiveRamp and Experian or agencies, your data provider can push audiences directly into Facebook.

So, CPG marketers will still be able to use a purchase-based targeting approach on Facebook, it’s just going to require some process changes. 

To learn more about using third-party data on Facebook, IRI is hosting a webinar on August 7 and August 9 dedicated to this topic. We’ll dive deeper into the points above and also demonstrate how you can target more precisely on Facebook to see better results from your campaigns. We hope to see you there!