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Jun 01
6 types of targeting every marketer needs to know

6 types of targeting every marketer needs to know

Whether you’re a B2B or B2C marketer, one thing remains constant through every campaign, message, and creative: the types of targeting you can use in your digital advertising campaign.

Anyone who says it’s easy probably isn’t doing it right—and if you’ve ever felt perplexed by all of the types of targeting and data available today—you’re not alone, marketer.

Here are the six types of targeting every marketer should know.


Types of targeting: Data

From Cambridge Analytica (#neverforget) to GDPR, data in advertising has become a hot topic among industry giants and consumers alike.

Ongoing conversations about the transparency and privacy of consumer data are just the beginning of a long road. Consumers are on the hunt for a better understanding of where this data comes from and how it’s used—it’s only a matter of time until the U.S. adopts GDPR-esque protections.

And, as they become more informed about how their data is being collected and used for advertising purposes, it’s the responsibility of all marketing professionals to put consumer minds at ease.

In using data-driven advertising strategies, marketers are given the opportunity to be transparent about how they use data to reach their target market. Two of the most commonly used—and discussed—data types available for use in advertising are first-party and third-party data. Let’s dive in.

First-party data

First-party data is information collected directly from customers.

This type of data is unique to a company since it’s directly linked to their customer base. This can include retargeting, CRM, and IP user pools. There are some different things you can learn from first-party data: the preferences and patterns behind purchase behavior, the user data associated with your unique customers, and more.

First-party data is especially useful for retargeting because you can leverage the information you already have about consumer’s past purchases and product interests as it’s unique to your company. But, first-party data can’t be used to reach a new audience because, well, you don’t have any data associated with that new audience. That’s where third-party data comes in.

Third-party data

Third-party data is collected from the customer by a company that isn’t directly involved in the transaction.

Third-party data is large scale: It’s distributed to many different networks through online data, which is collected usually by placing a third-party cookie on first-party websites. Examples of third-party data sources are Acxiom, BlueKai, and Experian—among many others—which aggregate user data from different sources and then analyze that data. Thus, third-party data allows for an in-depth analysis of target audience information to be collected.

Types of targeting: Retargeting

With over-saturated markets and better-than-ever branding—especially in the direct-to-consumer space—the number of ways in which marketers can lose conversions throughout the path to purchase is overwhelmingly high.

Say someone visits your newsletter sign-up only to exit mid-way through the form, or another person clicks your ad only to exit out shortly after visiting the landing page.

These, in addition to the classic add-to-cart-but-never-purchase dilemma, are just a few of the ways in which your customers can leave you hanging.

Retargeting is a form of online advertising that can help keep your ads in front of bounced traffic after they leave your website.

For most websites, only two percent of web traffic converts on the first visit. Retargeting is a tool designed to help companies reach the 98 percent of users who don’t convert right away, making it one of the most valuable tactics out there. After all, a whopping 70 percent of consumers who are retargeted are more likely to convert than cold traffic.

Types of targeting: IP targeting

Also known as IP address targeting, this is the process of targeting internet advertising to specific households based on their Internet Protocol (IP) address. Your IP address is the string of numbers assigned to your internet connection by your Internet Service Provider.

Every device—including desktops, mobile devices, and tablets—that’s connected to the Internet has an IP address that indicates its location. IP targeting utilizes those IP addresses to allow for personalized content to be delivered to the user of that IP.

How IP targeting works in Choozle:

When IPs are uploaded into the Choozle system or are sourced by our team, this creates a match at the IP address of all user profiles that are known to be associated with that IP. This pool of user profiles will be aggregated and available as an IP Address data segment within ~48 hours, which can then be included in a custom audience and applied to an ad group. These cookies can be matched and unmatched over time, creating more of a dynamic audience as users show up at different IP addresses.

Please Note: Due to regional data privacy laws, IP targeting is not available in Europe. Any European IP addresses included in lists will be dismissed and not yield a match.

If you don’t already have a list of IP addresses, we can source them for you! Ask us how.

Types of targeting: Contextual targeting

Contextual targeting is made up of two tactics: site and category. Both allow for targeting sites that categorize themselves in a specific area or topic of websites/publishers.

This tactic, paired with contextual keyword (up next), is one of the most foolproof ways to make sure your ads end up on relevant sites.


With contextual site targeting, you’re able to target specific sites by way of building preferred lists or block lists with the URL of sites you either want to serve ads or not serve ads on.


Rather than targeting by specific URLs, you can also target users by the category of website they’re on. For instance, contextual category targeting allows advertisers to target sites that categorize themselves in a specific area or topic, such as “dogs” or “sports.”

Types of targeting: Contextual keyword targeting

Contextual keyword targeting allows marketers and advertisers to get much more granular by targeting URLs based on the keywords that appear within website pages.

Once keywords are selected, sites with available ad placements are scanned, the most important keywords on those pages are identified, and a probabilistic algorithm is implemented to define and categorize the page and the impression.

Although this tactic is accompanied by an additional data CPM, you’re much more likely to get more bang for your buck when using contextual keyword over contextual site or category targeting.

Types of targeting: CRM targeting

CRM targeting allows you to target individuals from your customer relationship management (CRM) system and run account-based marketing campaigns against a known list of contacts.

A major pro of leveraging CRM targeting is that makes it simple to grow your business and serve ads to users who have already demonstrated an interest in your product or service—much like the idea behind retargeting.

The more you build out your CRM personalization, the better. This will allow you to personalize each ad to different stages in your customer’s journey. Some examples include recent activity on your website, communication levels like emails opened or unopened, and more. The more your ads speak to your customer’s unique needs, the better.

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