Relationship Persona Targeting for Valentine’s Grand SLAMS | Psychographic Hot House

Striking out on relationship targeting? Minor league marketers identifying those who are coupled, engaged, married, and divorced/widowed can end up whiffing. Relationship targeting became a whole new ball game when Facebook entered the picture laden with parent, financial, relationship duration and, of course, interest layers (and so much more). Power-hitting marketers can now acutely identify relationship personas that are attuned and transparently susceptible to marketing messages, enabling marketers to hit campaigns outta the park! BATTER UP!

Don’t sell chocolates, roses, or baubles? Not to worry! Brands that have nothing, at all, specific to Valentine’s can clean up if they’ve covered their bases with accurate targeting of couples who are willing to ditch tired clichés.

STEP UP TO THE PLATE: Relationship Status

First things first, advertise to users who are in the game. Facebook makes this stage of targeting unbelievably easy via Detailed Targeting > Demographics > Relationship Status:


Naturally, the caliber of a Valentine’s gift can depend on the type of relationship one finds themselves in. Someone in a relationship may have varying affinities or levels of passion towards their significant other, while those who find themselves engaged are susceptible to marketing messaging imploring them to make this Valentine’s extra special. On the other hand, those who are decades into a marriage may be so over this “Hallmark Holiday.”

Hold tight, marketers. We’ll dig into relationship audience segmentation as we dial in additional targeting variables.

But before we explore them, let’s seek out eager rookie hitters who are most likely to chase our marketing fastballs.

FIRST BASE: Identify Age of Relationship

You’re no Wild Thing Ricky Vaughn letting the fastballs fly. You’re keenly aware of the runners on base and taking signs from the catcher – refining the targeting of relationships by new-ness and other factors.

Once relationship types have been selected, refine those by selecting Narrow Audience.


Add Life Events found under Detailed Targeting > Demographics > Life Events and behold:


These Life Events are deftly paired with the following relationship statuses: relationship, civil union, domestic partnership, engaged, and married.

We’ll hit on Newly engaged and Newlywed as we round the bases. For now focus on the rookies in new relationships eager to make an impression and are likely agonizing over it. Your ad copy should reflect emotions: eager to please, worried about making it right.



Don’t forget about the bench players – still in the action, but handicapped by distance. Pair those in a relationship or engaged with Long Distance Relationship and you have a tidy 23,000 users susceptible to buying flowers, chocolates, or really anything (ohhai, Amazon) that can be delivered on Valentine’s.


Add in a passion for travel and you’ve got an audience ready to purchase plane tickets to spend a romantic Valentine’s Day with their loved one.


SECOND BASE: Co-habitants

Clutch your pearls, the next relationship persona we’re tapping into would be the un-wed, long-term relationship couple that’s (gasp!) living together. In this relationship persona, these two are all but married: they live in the same home, fight over the remote, and likely share bills.


Consider that these folks may function much like a married couple: It’s likely they know what their SO likes. They may also feel the need to “spice up” the routine or, on the other hand, purchase something utilitarian for the home.

Want an indication that these co-habitants are closer to the altar? By way of Behavior targeting, we can further identify if they have offspring – four-legged fur baby offspring that is. This house is nearly a home with two adults and one (or more) widdle, adowrable dependent. Rocks and rings may also be in this couple’s near future!


For the record, targeting those with human offspring is also doable ;).


!Base Coach Intervention! STEALING THIRD: Popping the Question

Speaking of engagements…

There’s not much relationship targeting that can easily pinpoint the duration or passion of relationships prior to engagement, leaving marketers seeking those ready or considering popping the question in murky mess.

In baseball, as in relationships, much of the stats are based on the team behind you, er… around you. Engagement brands can hit pop flies out to left field all year, while savvy marketers dial in Facebook’s sneaky peer-pressure laden layer of targeting that is Friends of to influence individual players to steal home.


Any jeweler who hocks engagement rings, from Neil Lane to Etsy start-ups, will be on their feet, cheering for the runner to make it home with this targeting. Start by setting the age range to hit users who are in prime marriage-mode age (I don’t know about you, but it seems from mid-twenties to mid thirties everyone is either getting married or having kids, or having another kid and getting married.), target males (the tradition is strong) who are in a relationship or domestic partnership…


THEN narrow this audience by friends of: newly engaged or newlywed and, for creative purposes, filter further by adding interested in: women. Craft some compelling copy, and engagement jewelers can have 27,000 users checking their bank accounts and drafting up a loan.


THIRD: Betrothed on Base

The question has been popped, and s/he said YES! Facebook has pre-sliced user’s engagement by duration so there’s no guess work for you, dear marketer!


Before adding all the engaged subsets into the same targeting audience, consider first what each stage means, then factor in finances.

First, consider that those who have only been engaged for a few months still have stars in their eyes and are thrust back into romance mode. They’re likely:

  • Setting the date (or at least considering a season… and year?)
  • Starting the wedding blog
  • Getting the ring(s) insured
  • Dreaming & plotting via Pinterest
    • Thus… SAVING every penny

Most are painting their wedding in broad strokes. A perfect opportunity for wedding planners to suggest a romantic tour of venues… capped by a dinner date? They’re conscious of not spending too much, but could be persuaded this Valentine’s Day to “make it count.”

Couples further along in their engagement are nailing down details and dumping money into deposits for the venue, caterer, and have probably already purchased the dress and rented the tux. This group is likely more money conscious, so be sure the products/events/services you promote are in-line with a sensitive, (but caring!) budget. #ItsTheThoughtThatCounts

Not every engaged couple is strapped for cash! Facebook’s nimble targeting allows marketers to add financial qualifying layers to engaged targeting to narrow in on couples who have CASH.


The audience that’s engaged and NOT saving every penny is fruitful with boundless opportunities:

  • Travel – pre-wedding getaway
  • Designer or custom dress/tux creation
  • Lawyers *cough* pre-nup (note, we advise to not present the pre-nup on Valentine’s Day 😉 )
  • Real Estate (penthouse hunting, anyone?)
  • La Perla
  • Anything that sparkles
  • Spa packages
  • Obscenely large bouquets
  • Vehicle

HOME! – AKA All The Way 😉

Your audience has made it all the way to a dedicated, official-official relationship: marriage! Don’t paint these folks with the same brush – not all married couples are settled in their ways and living a routine life, nor are they all newlywed lovebirds. Similar to the stages of engagement, Facebook breaks out the new-ness of Newlyweds from three, to six months, up to one year.


And much like users who are engaged, these newly married folks are susceptible to marketing messages to make this Valentine’s memorable, though consider for many months the newlyweds may still be paying for their big day. This is great group to market customizable gifts that incorporate things or pictures from the big day.


To the other extreme… marketers can throw a curve ball by excluding newlyweds from the married/civil union audience and upping the age bracket to 45+.


These 21 million married folks have probably been through it in the relationship: seen it all, said it all, and then some. This audience is HUGE and should be qualified by further factors to dial in buying affinities and other interests such as:

  • Foodies > White table dinner with paired wine selection, ma’dame?
  • Healthy & Fit > Personal trainers, gym memberships
  • Outdoor Enthusiasts > Hike, bike, walk, run… just do it outside!
  • Spa enthusiasts > Spa getaway… FOR THE WHOLE DAY
  • Luxury Store > Poppin’ tags!
  • Fine Jewelry > #MakeItBlingYo (but for the love of Joe Dimaggio, don’t throw a bean and buy a heart-shaped anything.)

Purveyor of *ahem* passion products? Discover budding BDSM-wannabes by adding interests based on some book you may have heard of:


Or find the men who are “Fifty fans” (and took notes…?):


In the On-deck Circle: Kids

It doesn’t matter at what point a couple has children, the fact is: Kids matter a LOT. On Valentine’s, this means more sales: candy, school Valentine’s cards, and even gifts from mommy and daddy.


Pair this targeting with a passion for crafting, focus the gender on the paternal parent and marketers have a sweet segment of dads with kids, who love (or… tolerate?) crafts. This audience is perfect to persuade a parent to make hand-crafted gifts for the other parent, grandparent, teachers, babysitters, etc.


7th Inning Stretch

Now that you have as many relationship personas as, well, a box of chocolates, plot these personas out, match them with your products/services and get cracking on creative!

Not sure where to start? Stay tuned… relationship creative (sure to give you more than a few ideas) is #OnDeck for next week!

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