Targeting on Facebook Just Got a Whole Lot Harder

Facebook launched Partner Categories back in 2013 to give marketers an effective way to use third-party anonymous data to create hyper-targeted campaigns. Data mining companies like Experian and Acxiom collect demographic and behavioral data on other channels, then pass it along to Facebook. The social media network is then able to match the data to users’ profiles so advertisers can target them.

But, back in March, Facebook released a brief statement announcing that it would be disbanding Partner Categories in the interest of its users’ privacy. Although it did not elaborate on the reasoning, it is likely due to the privacy concerns of its users, especially in the case of the Cambridge Analytica scandal that went down this past March.

Last week the hammer finally dropped, and Partner Categories are no longer available to be used in new audience targeting. Before panic sets in, I think we should be looking at this as an opportunity to improve our marketing and take back some control. Let’s start by discussing about how this specific change is going to impact advertisers.

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Three Marketing Resolutions for 2018

As 2018 is the first year of business for Bern Digital, I want to get things started properly. Last week I decided to sit down and think about three marketing concepts that I want to apply in my own business and as I deliver work for partners.

My goal was not to set three measurable and achievable milestones to aim for, such as acquiring five new leads through my website, because I want to avoid being too focused on tactics. At the same time, I also didn’t want to reach for something so unrealistic that it doesn’t make sense, like integrating a VR component into every marketing campaign.

This led me to three concepts that I believe are mature enough to be applied to a wide variety of businesses, can help to differentiate my partners from their competitors, and will lead to long term growth. Here’s what I came up with…

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Boulder Beats – What I Learned By Starting My Own Business

The Boulder Beats logo mark, designed by yours truly.

A few weeks ago I met a former coworker – someone I’ve been fortunate to learn a lot from over the years – for an after-work cocktail. We discussed business ventures, new projects, and past experiences. Our conversation made me reminisce about the run my former roommate, Josh, and I had as owner/operators of a bootstrapped entertainment business.

Josh and I were fortunate to learn a remarkable amount in the three years we spent operating the company. Almost ten years later I find myself exercising the knowledge from those experiences frequently in both my personal and professional life. I haven’t written much about Boulder Beats here on The Bern Blog, so I am going to take this opportunity to share a handful of key learnings from my time running and growing a small business.

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