How Facebook's Partner Category Announcement Will Affect the Automotive Industry

At Constellation Agency, we pride ourselves in being on the forefront of social marketing and are well versed in handling the changes that come with it. Having said that, we understand that Facebook’s recent announcement can sound a little troubling, especially at first glance.

In short, Facebook announced that they would be cutting ties with third-party data providers in six months (Sept 30th). What that means is that agencies will no longer have access to partner segments from within the Facebook interface. These segments include in-market shoppers, service buyers, household income, and so on.

While it is too early right now to say exactly how this will play out, here are some things to consider:

  • Facebook may simply decide to bring some of this data in-house to create their own automotive segments rather than relying porting it through third-party providers. This will give them the transparency and control that they are looking for in this sensitive data climate for them. This is partly why they are giving themselves six months so they will have time to develop these audiences in-house.
  • The third-party data providers will likely start selling directly to agencies like Constellation, allowing Facebook to not be as directly involved. They are already currently selling this data to us, we may just need to reconfigure the pipes. This is already the norm among other demand-side platforms like programmatic display.
  • Custom Audiences are unaffected. This means your first-party CRM data and associated lookalikes, your website retargeting and general site retargeting, and other first party data provided to us by our OEM partners will still be in use.

We have six months to work together directly with our partners at Oracle/DLX, IHS Markit, Experian and others to determine a way forward. The Constellation leadership team will be present at Facebook’s upcoming Automotive Retail Summit in April to learn more about this from Facebook’s perspective and find out what solutions they have planned specifically for the auto industry (one of their largest advertisers).

Regardless of the details of how we will end up retaining our access to this data, we are fully confident that we will have 100% access before the data is sunsetted within Facebook. We are committed to our clients and to creating solutions to make their campaigns stronger than ever before.