Audience Targeting is identifying a specific group of people, for showing an advertisement or a message. This group is identified based on their characteristics and interests, depending on whether their characteristics and interests are relevant to the product or service that has to be advertised. Audience targeting allows brands to be more accurate when choosing whom they want to deliver their ads to. The group’s demographic data like their gender, age, income, or education, can also play a role in this. It is used when brands know whom to target, but don’t know where to find them. Third-party data providers like DMPs help in listing down the required audience based on the attributes specified by the brands.
Behavioral targeting is a technique used by online advertisers and publishers for increasing the effectiveness of their campaigns by using the data collected on an user’s web-browsing behavior, which may include the pages visited or the searches made, links clicked, time spent on each page, and so on, to choose which ads to show to that user. This is done by dropping a cookie on the user’s system, which collects the required data on the user’s behavior. Based on this data, the user is then classified into a separate audience segment. Only the ads relevant to the audience in this segment are shown to them. This is beneficial to both the users as well as the advertisers. Users get a better ad experience with more relevant ads, and the advertisers are able to have more engagement with the users, which improves the company’s bottom-line.
Retargeting is a technique used to reach back to a website’s bounced traffic. Most of the users who visit a website searching for a product, won’t make a purchase in their very first visit. This is where retargeting comes into the picture. Retargeting helps to get a brand back in front of the users who visited the brand’s website but did not make a purchase right away. Retargeting is used by e-commerce sites to combat shopping cart abandonment. It is also used by events and entertainment brands to increase the sales of their ticket or merchandise.
Geo-targeting is the practice of delivering different advertisements or content to a website user, depending up on his or her geographical location. Geo-targeting can be done at the level of city or zip code via IP address or device ID. It can even be done on a more granular level through GPS signals, geo-fencing, and more. For instance, if a customer is near a Starbucks outlet, and he is shown an ad about the 50% discount in that Starbucks outlet, it will improve the footfall in that outlet.
Cross-device targeting is a strategy used to identify and deliver advertisements or promotions to a particular customer, over all the different devices like desktop, laptop, cell phones, and tablets, used by that customer. Cross-device targeting enables brands to reach out to specific audience with consistent messaging, across all the devices. It also gives advertisers more information about that customer and his/her behaviour across multiple devices, enabling them to build a more complete audience profile, and give the customer a superior experience.
Contextual means “relating to or determined by or in context”. Accordingly, contextual advertising means that the ads shown will be determined by the content of the webpage on which the ad is shown. This kind of targeting is called contextual targeting. Thus, contextual targeting is a technique in which the web page is scanned to show the relevant ad as per the content on the page. This is done with the help of AI and machine learning. The AI and machine learning algorithms scan the webpage content and determine the content type. It benefits the users, publishers as well as the advertisers. It gives more relevant content to the users, more number of clicks to the publishers and boosts the sales for advertisers.
The success of your ad campaigns largely depends on the success of your targeting strategies. Thoughtful and strategically targeted ad campaigns drive the best results. However, if you do not do your homework properly, it may do more bad than good. Hence, it is important to have a holistic view of all the factors that can possible affect the sales – positively or negatively, and craft the targeting strategies accordingly.