Targeted Advertising Explained

Targeted advertising explained

Targeted advertising is just as it sounds.

It’s a way for marketers to target users that reflect their specific traits, interests and shopping behavior.

For example, if User A lives in Portland, Oregon, User A will be shown ads that are applicable to that area. This form of targeted advertising is called geo targeting – more on that later.

For advertisers, targeted advertising is an essential part of advertising as it creates a good user experience and often engages more users.

Targeted advertising also includes retargeting – displaying an ad to a user based on their previous internet behavior.

Benefits of targeted advertising

Advanced personalization

Personalization is crucial for online advertising. It takes the next step in engaging with your audience.

Knowing your audience’s interests, traits and behaviour is an advantage in offering them the most suitable products or services. With that, changing up your messaging tailored to the type of audience is just as important.

Higher personalization results in higher engagement and in return a higher Click Through Rate (CTR). The more a brand can demonstrate how well it understands what their audience wants, the more likely the user will engage with the ad and brand itself.

Re-engage with past website visitors

An essential to convert viewers into buyers.

First time website visitors or ad viewers rarely convert into buyers. That’s why constantly reminding them of your brand is important.

Setting up targeted ad campaigns (also known as retargeting) can do just that.

By re-engaging those potential customers, it helps move them down the pipeline towards making their purchase.

While this may seem simple, ensuring each component fits well together is not an easy task.

Reach the right audience

Targeting an audience with similar interests to your business is another crucial step in getting the user to convert.

Half of the time, prospective customers turn out to be a mismatch for businesses.

Targeted advertising allows businesses to interact with prospects who have interests that are related to your business. This gives you an increased opportunity to sell to a particular buyer.

Better use for your advertising dollar

It’s as simple as it sounds – less money spent, better results.

A high level understanding of your target audience will result in better results with your advertising campaigns.

Types of targeted advertising

Behavioral targeting

Behavioral targeting is based on web browsing activity by a given user.

In this form of particular targeting, advertisers can show users an ad based on their previous web activity. For example, User A visits Patagonia but then exits that site. User A, can then be shown an ad for Patagonia on another website.

Other factors that can trigger ads for behavioral targeting include: purchases, time spent on a website, clicked links, and so on.

Contextual targeting

This type of targeting is specific to a web page’s content.

For example, a sporting goods site could show an ad selling tickets to a hockey game.

Geo targeting

Geo targeting is essential for advertisers looking to target a specific area or region.

Geo targeting directs ads for consumers based on their geographic location. For example User B is in LA and searching online for a restaurant close to her. User B will then be targeted by ads pointing her to different restaurants near by in LA.


This targeting method is an essential tool for advertisers as it capitalizes on prospects who have already shown interest in their product or service.

For example, a user who purchases a jacket from a particular website could be shown ads of similar products from that same website.