Psychographic Targeting Unhinged: Master Personas & Mobile Interest

Establishing Master Personas
Facebook is unique because the layered depth of targeting transcends other display channels. For contextual targeting, in our opinion, there is no more a full-bodied channel on earth, especially given the 900-million-plus user sampling. Recent capabilities are incredibly robust as we layer broad and precise interests together in the same targeting matrix.

FB marketers are discovering that they can stack both broad and precise interest targeting. In other words, whereas in the past advertisers had to choose either precise targeting or broad targeting, it is now possible to use both at the same time. This is a dream come true for experienced FB Ads marketers. The ability to layer targeting attributes in a grid using the “and” operator to stack them up is the future.

To start, there is a massive Facebook broad targeting preset segment for traveling (27.9 million). Keep in mind that as we walk through personalities in the precise interest bucket, we can easily layer granular precise interests with this broad travel interest. The layering effect inside FB (broad and precise interests in same grid) delivers massive psychographic focus because many of the precise interest personalities in FB infer travel anyway, even before further qualification of broad targeting. Since broad interests are black box (FB does not tell us which interests comprise the presets), our precise interests may well overlap with those in the broad targeting presets.

Remember, we’re looking for travelers who will want a rechargeable mobile cell phone charger. It will be especially powerful to mashup the broad interest traveling segment with precise interests surrounding mobile phones.

Stay aware of these broad interests (master personas) as you traverse personalities in the granular. Always consider layering master personas with personalities in channels where this is possible. It’s easy in Facebook. Just use broad and precise interests at the same time.

Remember that layering can take between channels as well. Drive users to any page you own using a FB, YouTube or LinkedIn targeting attribute. Set a Google retargeting cookie for use in Google’s Display Network, and follow users around with both channels’ targeting at hand.

Here are some screen captures of Google’s interest and category targeting, which can be mashed up with inbound traffic’s targeting characteristics by use of retargeting cookies.

Wow, I’m thinking about all the fantastic segments in the FB precise interests bucket to layer over the traveling segment. Just wait until you see the radical personality segments below.

Also Broad Mobile Interest
Mobile is another master persona to consider in this case study. There are 77 million FB users broadly interested in mobile. Start with this segment and layer in any of the travel-specific precise interests for another approach to very highly focused targeting.


Google Display Network

Google AdWords Display Network is a preset personality-targeting engine all in itself, analogous to Facebook’s broad targeting. Display Network inventory can be mashed into FB, YouTube and LinkedIn to define multi-channel persona/personality campaigns. Throughout the case study, as we define focused customer attributes in search, Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube, keep the possibility of mixing and matching these Google AdWords display PPC topics and interests in mind. Though outside the scope of this article, it’s mind-blowing to realize that this inventory can also be applied to remarketing lists.

OK. Now we’ve covered:

  • Literal personas
  • Master personas
  • Personalities
  • FB broad traveler targeting
  • FB broad mobile targeting
  • Concept: Mash master personas & personalities in FB
  • Google Display Network topics & interests

Let’s dig in, people, starting with mild and heading to wild. First up, we’ll target travel-specific retail and retail stores. Our travelers may well shop at these stores, which feature cool travel gadgets prominently amongst their fare. “Travel gadget store shopper” is the first personality of our travel master persona.


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  • re targeting

    Retargeting is awesome, and just like you said the strategy can and is used for email. Now, what’s recently evolving is Search Retargeting. Where you can target based off of search query, which means users don’t even need to land on your site/page!

  • Barry Tubwell

    Over the top, outstanding post Marty. Posts like this on aimclear is the reason I follow your twitter, facebook page and the blog its self. Thanks a ton.

  • Kath Dawson

    Marty this is fascinating stuff! I have thoroughly enjoyed digging into this and repeating some of your searches to test that I am doing the right thing. My Facebook Adcreator give me “audience” rather than “estimated reach” and while some of the numbers I get are very similar to your others are way less. Am I doing something wrong or could there be a different explanation as to the discrepancy?

    Now I want to see how I can use your process for persona research on other sectors that are not nearly as interesting as the one you have described, wish me luck!!

  • Liang Chen

    Saw your post SEOmoz, and followed through to here. This one is gonna take me weeks to digest, so I will be coming back as often as possible in the next few weeks.

  • Brian Jensen

    Marty, huge kudos to you for this beyond comprehensive resource on psychographic targeting, personas and for exposing the sheer power from utilizing multiple platforms to mine this data. The number and combined reach of the various persona possibilities that you uncovered was staggering to say the least. Innovative, exciting, brilliant, thanks.

    • Marty Weintraub

      Thanks Brian, We’re glad the post resonated.

  • Warren Whitlock

    Finally, a good way to target all the SEO experts who lost there way with the newest Panda update 🙂

    • Marty Weintraub

      Warren, TOTALLY 🙂

  • stephen

    Great post and information pointing us all the correct direction. Loved you book by the way ‘killer facebook ads’ 🙂

  • Eric Scism

    Absolutely incredible. I came here to check some demographic targeting info for a retargeting campaign that I was setting up. Now, I’m having to completely re-structure/re-think the campaign. Thanks Marty this was absolutely incredible.

  • Maryan Pelland

    When I read, and I read a LOT each day, I tend to skim. An 8 page post usually sends me clicking off to somewhere else. THIS piece had so much useable, understandable, and current info that I read each page, each word, and bookmarked it. I’ve been doing a lot of these things intuitively, but you drew me a road map. Right on.

  • Laura

    You should consider a print this article button. There is no good way to print this out and for longer content it’s so much easier for me to absorb when I get away from my computer….

    • Marty Weintraub

      Thanks for the feedback Laura.