Facebook will now be able to target some ads based on your offline shopping habits thanks to partnerships announced on Wednesday.
The social networking giant has inked a deal with data mining firms Datalogix, Acxiom and Epsilon that will apply their records about customers' offline purchases to Facebook's Custom Audiences product.
Facebook is also working with BlueKai "as a marketing data platform to bring a brand's first party site data to use for targeting on Facebook", according to the company.
Custom Audiences, which was released last August, lets advertisers identify Facebook users by their Facebook ID, phone number or email address. Now, advertisers can match that information with data from the firms, which was gleaned through shopper loyalty programs.
As Facebook explained in a blog post, the deals let advertisers target by generic product segment: "We will work with these select third parties to create pre-defined targeting categories on Facebook."
Businesses of all sizes will now be able to target categories such as "soda drinkers" or "auto-intenders".
According to Facebook, the change means advertisers can skip a step to identify an audience segment by its purchase intent:
For example, an auto dealer may want to customise an offer to people who are looking to buy a new car. To do this today, many businesses work with third parties to better understand how to identity and reach that audience. With today's updates, businesses can now do this same thing by showing ads to people on Facebook who may be in the market for a new car.
Facebook also claims that it won't share personal data about users with marketers. As with other Facebook ads, you can also opt out at any time.
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