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Less wastage through targeting

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Hitting the bull's-eye with an arrow? Possible with targeting.

Knowing your target group increases the chance of turning a lead into a customer. Or let’s say it another way: If you know what your target group looks like, what they want and what their needs are, and can therefore better adapt your communications to these and other aspects, you can create a  community-feeling or a feeling of belonging, turn one-time customers into long-term customers, or basically encourage them to buy. So, it's important, we get that, but how and at what levels is it possible? Well, let's turn our attention to targeting.


What is targeting?

Knowing your target group is possible on various levels, such as sociodemographic factors (age, gender, ...) or also in terms of behavior, emotions, contexts, regional aspects, and so on. What exactly is targeting?

The term targeting refers to the targeted addressing of a target group, because the English word "target" actually says it all: it's about the target.

There are various definitions that have the same core. Hubspot, for example, defines targeting as follows: "In online marketing, the term targeting refers to the placement of ads within a previously categorized target group. Various techniques are available, such as contextual, behavioral, sociodemographic, or technical targeting. The goal is a customer-specific address in order to reduce wastage."

At this point, we would like to make a clear recommendation. If you would like to take a closer look at various topics related to marketing, sales, CRM, etc., you can visit the Hubspot blog. There you will find a wide variety of articles and can quickly get started in the various areas.

Back to targeting, there are also other definitions. The German Institute for Marketing describes targeting as follows: "The term targeting is quickly explained. The term comes from the English language and is derived from the word "target". This translated means "target". This is exactly what targeting focuses on. The goal here is to precisely address the target group in online marketing. Targeting ensures that you reach the right target group with your campaign. But of course, it is also important to know your target group. If this is known, you can choose from various techniques in targeting."

So what have we learned? You have to know your target group. The better you know them, the more tailored your marketing and advertising measures will be. The overall goal is to reach an almost perfect target group. There are various techniques and methods for this, and we'll take a look at them right now.

What methods of targeting are there?

You can choose between different methods for your individual approach within the custom-fit targeting, because if one fits company A, it may not be the case for company B.

The following, and probably more, methods exist:

  • Sociodemographic targeting: the basis for targeting ads are sociodemographic criteria such as age, social status or gender. This is important, but not enough for precise targeting. 

  • Regional targeting: If one knows where a user lives or often stays, this aspect can be supplemented and additionally used, for example, to decide where the ad should be played out. This type of targeting is also called geotargeting.

  • Behavioral targeting: Now we come to an exciting point: the behavior of the user. Advertisements can also be aligned with this. For this, various aspects must be considered so that a complete picture of the user's behavior emerges.

  • Keyword targeting: Ads can also be played out on the basis of predefined search terms and keywords. If a user searches for one of these (or more) terms, the ad is displayed accordingly, based on the hypothesis that there is interest in content related to this term.

  • Technical targeting: It is also possible to take a more technical approach and, for example, take a closer look at the operating system or installed software, which in turn can represent important additional information for the playout and placement of ads.

  • Predictive behavioral targeting: What about tomorrow? Behavioral targeting can be extended, e.g. with statistics or even larger amounts of data evaluated on the behavior of the target group, in order to subsequently predict how the behavior will probably be tomorrow, the day after tomorrow or in 6 months. This also makes effective targeting possible in the long term.

  • Retargeting: If you know what a user has already looked at or perhaps bought, you can place ads in front of this user based on these products.

  • Semantic targeting: You could also call it context targeting, and it is often called that. What is meant, however, is not contextual targeting, which is sometimes named equivalently to keyword targeting. This is actually about the context of different topics. Special topics are defined and ads are played out accordingly when a user deals with one of these topics (e.g. by Googling).

This gives us a long list of possibilities for designing or making the approach to the target group more precise. It is not advisable here to consider only one of the aspects and, for example, only make use of the socio-demographics. Ideally, data on all aspects should be collected and then combined so that the picture of the target group can become much, much more accurate.

Our list here is certainly not exhaustive. However, in order to understand the possibilities within targeting, it should suffice for the beginning.

For example, there is also emotional targeting, which is often used in the gaming environment. You can find more about it in this article.



Tell me who you are, what you like and where you live, then I can better adapt my advertising to you. It doesn't work like that, but we have presented various methods of targeting that can be used to get to know the target group better, to describe it and then to adapt the advertising or marketing accordingly. A crucial aspect that applies to advertising and all forms of ads: If something is perceived as annoying or unpleasant, the chance of a conversion decreases. So, invest more time so that advertising is not just advertising, but can also offer users added value.


As always, you can find more exciting articles in our blog. Feel free to take a look.

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