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How I cured my love-hate relationship with Sinus Milieu targeting

Senior Growth Marketing Consultant Michael Tetsuo Grundstein shares insights and tips on how to use Sinus Milieu segmentation!
Michael Tetsuo Grundstein

Michael Tetsuo Grundstein

3 min read

Market researchers, innovation managers & business planners alike are usually very familiar with the Sinus Milieu® segmentation. They love the simplicity, the bubbly shapes and the scientific aura of accuracy. The Sinus institute self-proclaimed gold standard of segmentation offers bloomy target groups such as the Consumer-Hedonistic Milieu or the Performer Milieu - i consider myself to be part of both. With a segmentation that sharp, potential customers will just be will-less sheep and an easy prey for any new venture or marketing agency boomer. So far the theory.

Within the performance marketing discipline, I tend to have a love hate relationship with Sinus milieus. Imagine you receive a marketing or campaign brief, where the target group is described as following: “Urban, conservative users aged between 25-54 with basic values that reflect a sense of duty and order and that belong to the upper middle class”  … hummmm … there is no audience setting in the facebook ads manager’s dropdown exactly like this. Building target groups based on interests in the facebook ads manager does not get you anywhere close to the Sinus milieu targeting. How to solve this conundrum? 

Technology has the answer! Within the realm of programmatic advertising, so called DMP providers aka data management platforms willingly offer their heavenly treasure of segmented cookies. After a little desk research, I stumbled upon the data provider emetriq that just happened to offer the Sinus Milieu segmentation with a base of 100 million cookies. Jackpot! 

Without jumping too much into the nitty gritty details of performance marketing, basically I could plug this puzzle piece into the ad tech setup and manage my ad buying operations to my needs. You pay a little mark-up for your ad impressions and voilà, your ad appears in front of the Sinus Milieu segments that you selected. Welcome to performance marketing heaven!

So how do we get the Sinus milieu data into our Facebook Ads manager you ask? The media industry is full of buzzword shenanigans and pre•targeting describes our approach here. We use another channel, in this case programmatic display, in order to feed another algorithm with targeting data, in this case facebook or nowadays known as Meta (still can’t get used to this). If the utm tags are used properly, it is a very powerful tool and you can extract data from other platforms, if your marketing budget pockets are deep enough (pssst!). Via the utm campaign tags, we marked the two Sinus Milieus® of interest and collected all website visitors as a website custom audience in two separate lists. That way we extracted the cookie information and translated it into facebook targeting data. 

Meta website custom audience settings for utm extraction

Once these audiences are filled with life, they represent the facebook users that belong to each of the Sinus Milieus. As i assume most marketeers won’t spend tens of thousands of Euros on pre•targeting data, you can use the feature of Lookalike creation, so basically finding the statistical twins of your website custom audience. This will give us more reach for our target groups. If we include a nesting and a mutual exclusion between the two lookalike audiences, there will be zero overlap between the target groups and we are good to go for our landing page smoke test with a conceptually clean setup. 

Audience targeting setting within facebook ad campaign

You are wondering, why are we doing this in the first place? A client might have build their marketing research approach for a new innovation project on the Sinus milieu® segments. Now the client developed a breathtaking hypothesis for their new moon-shot product/service and the client approaches MVP Factory with the honorable duty to answer this research question. No task is too difficult, so we wrap our heads around each client’s needs, come up with suitable testing strategies and (de-)validate the hypothesis with quantitative data. 

Did you ever stumble upon problems with your business idea or you need some support in your idea validation or in your prototyping phase? Talk to our consultants at MVP Factory and we might be your next co-pilot for your new moon-shot project/service.