Targeting is defined as the selection of an object of attention or attack. Same is what it means in online advertising as we target our specific users (attack) as per the requirement of the campaign.
Targeting is about catching the right user at the right time in the right place so that the output coming out of it should be maximum.

Targeted Advertisement – an advertisement that is shown only to users
exhibiting specific attributes or in a specific context or at a particular time
of day.

In the online industry targeting is a big world and is divided into subparts :

  • Contextual Targeting: Contextual targeting is a form of targeting that the ad servers use to target a user for showing ad units based on the context of the page they are viewing.
  • Semantic Targeting: A type of contextual targeting that also incorporates semantic techniques to understand page meaning and/or sentiment.
  • Behavioral Targeting: Behavioral targeting is a form of targeting that ad server and ad networks use for targeting users based on their online behavior.
  • Audience Targeting: A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors based on their shared behavioral, demographic, geographic and/or technographic attributes.  Audience targeting uses anonymous, non-PII data.
  • Geographic Targeting: The targeting of users as per zip code, area code, city, DMA, state, and/or country is called geographic targeting.
  • Creative Retargeting: A method that enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to visitors that previously were exposed to or interacted with the advertisers‟ creative.
  • Site Retargeting: This targeting enables advertisers to show an ad specifically to previous site visitors.
  • Time-based Targeting: Time- based parting can be divided into parts: time parting – this parting enables the ad to appear on certain time in a day while another is Dayparting – this parting enables the ad to appear on certain days of the week.
  • Demographic Targeting: The targeting of users on the basis of demographic information such as age, gender and income etc is called demographic targeting.

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