Ad Targeting

What Does Ad Targeting Mean?

Ad targeting is an advertisement technique where advertisements are placed in specific areas of the screen to increase visibility and “clickability” or to give tailor-made ads based on the user’s past behaviors and preferences. Targeted ads are meant to reach certain customers based on demographics, psychographics, behavior and other second-order activities that are learned usually through data exhaust produced by users themselves.

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Ad targeting is also known as targeted advertising.

Techopedia Explains Ad Targeting

Ad targeting is meant to deliver ads automatically by using specialized software and algorithms that place ads depending on the user’s data. The most common method for targeting is behavioral targeting because it works by monitoring the user’s online activities anonymously and tracking the content being consumed by the user. All of this data is monitored and analyzed to predict the behavioral pattern and to serve the most appropriate ads to that user. Alternative methods are contextual targeting, audience and psychographic targeting.

Methods include:

  • Contextual targeting
  • Placement targeting
  • Interest-based targeting
  • Language targeting

Ad targeting was pegged to have secured 2.7 times as much revenue as non-targeted ads, as shown by a study conducted in 2009 by the Network Advertising Initiative.

Benefits of ad targeting are that the ads are more useful and meaningful for users and are considered as less of a nuisance. Furthermore, it allows businesses to eliminate wasted advertising and serve ads to only those likely to patronize their products or services.

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Margaret Rouse is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical, business audience. Over the past twenty years her explanations have appeared on TechTarget websites and she's been cited as an authority in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine and Discovery Magazine.Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages. If you have a suggestion for a new definition or how to improve a technical explanation, please email Margaret or contact her…