In online marketing, targeting refers to the specific approach of a target group. Targeting technologies help tailor advertising campaigns and onsite campaigns to a specific target group. In this way, user content (e.g. advertising banners) can be displayed depending on their interests and behavior. The goal is to avoid stray losses, improve the user experience and potentially increase the probability of a conversion.


Segments can be formed in different ways and based on different data (e.g. from the CRM system).


There are different types of targeting, for example:


1. Retargeting:


Retargeting is probably the best known and most frequently used form of targeting in e-commerce. Here, segments are created that contain, for example, which products a certain user has viewed in online shops but not bought. These are later recommended for purchase again using advertising banners (both in the company’s own shop and on other websites where the company’s display advertising is displayed). For example, shopping cart abandoners can be reminded to complete their pending purchase.


2. Contextual targeting:


Here, advertisements are placed in thematically appropriate, editorial environments. However, marketers should proceed with caution here, because even if the keyword may fit the environment, this does not necessarily mean that the ad also fits.


3. Behavioral targeting


Behavioral targeting helps to display advertising campaigns on the basis of the user’s surfing behavior or search behavior.


4. Regional targeting


Here users are addressed according to region or country. Also see: geotargeting.


5. Keyword targeting


On the basis of user queries in search engines, suitable advertising or content is displayed.


6. Targeting based on user profiles


Especially in social networks, the targeting options are immense – they range from demographic characteristics (e.g. age, gender and place of residence) to concrete interests (e.g. hobbies) or job profiles (e.g. industry or title).


7. CRM targeting


In CRM targeting, the target groups are defined and addressed on the basis of a company’s CRM system.


In order to be able to address the target group (existing and potential new customers) in a targeted manner, it must first be precisely analyzed and defined. The first step is to divide the target group into personas. Furthermore, a direct segmentation of the user group can be carried out.

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See also: Search Engine Advertising