What is targeting?

In online marketing, the term “targeting” is often used. But what exactly is it?

It’s about how to address a specific audience with your advertising and keep the coverage loss of your ads as low as possible.

Why is targeting important?

It is particularly important to know your target group well in order to be able to advertise efficiently, to promote your service or product in the best possible way, and thus to generate purchases and win customers.  

Before launching an advertising campaign, you should first think about the demographic group for which it may be relevant. This is called target group definition.


As an example:

A clothing store wants to advertise online to bring more customers into the store. However, the ad is being played out in a city 250km away – so the audience for this ad is not suitable and the advertising measure is not efficient. However, if you narrow down the targeting to the place where the store is located, you can increase the likelihood that the ad will be relevant to these people.

On which platforms can I target?

Targeting can basically be applied on various online platforms. For example, you can create a target group for your display ads on Google Ads, but you can also define your desired audience in great detail on social platforms like Facebook and Instagram.

What techniques are available?

There are various targeting techniques, here is an overview of the most important ones:

  • Regional targeting → This involves aligning the target group according to the radius, or selecting desired regions, cities or countries.
  • Sociodemographic targeting → Refers to targeting by, among other things: Age, gender, occupation, or language. This information is provided by the user himself, for example when setting up an account.
  • Keyword targeting → The ad is triggered based on selected keywords
  • CRM Targeting → This method relies on already collected data, so you can e.g. determine the target group based on existing customer data.
  • Technical targeting → Based on the technical requirements of the person addressed, such as browser or operating system used.
  • Retargeting → Ads are shown for products that the user has previously viewed.

When placing advertisements, it is important to achieve an appropriate level of exposure. So-called frequency capping is designed to prevent users from being disturbed by constant advertising, which can have the opposite effect.