What are the different types of targeting and which are important for me as an advertiser? In this article we give you an overview of the most relevant forms.

What is targeting?

Targeting is an instrument that has become indispensable in marketing for the precise playout of advertising media. After advertisers have defined their target group, targeting is used to reach this target group. The advertising material is not simply played out on the respective platform, but only to selected visitors of this platform who overlap with the target group. The aim is to keep wastage as low as possible and to increase the conversion rate.

What are the different targetings?


Our behaviour on the internet can be used to gather information about our age, gender, interests and much more. If users accept all cookies during their visit to a website, the site operators store this information and use it later to target advertisers' ads.


Predictive targeting is an advanced form of behavioural targeting and includes even more meaningful data about prospective buyers on a website. The existing data is supplemented by additional information from statistics and surveys. In online shops, this is referred to as predictive, individual product suggestions that are highly likely to match the visitor's interests.

Emotional Targeting

Many users, for example from the gaming sector, show a higher willingness to buy if they have experienced feelings of happiness shortly beforehand. So if the player of a browser game has just won a game and is then confronted with an ad, he is psychologically more open to it and is more likely to generate a conversion.


Re-targeting is often used by online shop operators. You have probably already been confronted with ads based on re-targeting. Advertisers use cookies to remember which users have visited their site. As long as this cookie is active, the user can be targeted with ads on further visits to other websites. Useful for this is in-depth information about the user's first visit to the site. For example, how long did the user stay on certain sub-pages, i.e. how interested is he or she in certain products?


Age, gender and social status are fundamental components in determining the target group. With the help of socio-demographic targeting, these can be included in the display of ads. It is one of the absolute basics in targeting, so you should use it for every campaign placement.


With device targeting, advertisers can decide on specific devices such as desktop and mobile or IOS and Android. Desktop traffic tends to be classified as somewhat higher quality, as users pay more attention there. But here, too, the following applies: What characteristics does my product bring to the table? Put simply, it only makes sense for a smartphone case manufacturer for iPhones to target IOS devices. 


It is predominantly medium-sized companies that want to address customers within a certain radius for which geographical targeting is important. This is because potential customers can only be found by regional traders or cafes and restaurants within a certain radius. With AdUp Regio Ads, regional companies have the opportunity to benefit from the most precise postcode targeting while playing out their campaigns on Axel Springer inventory. Sounds exciting? Then take a look here and get to know the sales colleagues better.

Geo-targeting is also interesting for national advertisers, so certain parts of Germany can be selected or even other countries. At AdUp, advertisers can place ads in Austria, Switzerland and the Netherlands in addition to Germany. 


A classic form in online marketing of the targeted playout of advertising media, in which websites with certain terms are identified: At AdUp, we offer keyword targeting primarily to advertisers from the travel sector, as very precise keywords can be assigned to this category. Example: A hotel operator with locations on Mallorca places ads with the keywords "holiday", "Mallorca" and "travel". If a user surfs booking portals and is looking for a hotel on Mallorca, targeted ads for the hotel chain can be delivered.


Unlike traditional keyword targeting, where websites are filtered based on specific words, semantic targeting allows for the scanning of entire pages, identifying even more specific content for possible overlap with advertisers' products. You should note that this targeting can greatly limit the reach of campaigns depending on the content. We would therefore recommend that you first test semantic targeting in the context of an additional campaign - in case your target group is too narrow and thus only very little traffic can be generated.

How does targeting work?

Cookies are the technical basis of most targeting. They store all the information that can be determined from the surfing behaviour of users on the internet. This ranges from socio-demographic data such as age and gender to interests and wishes.

Further targeting is based on content and not on the user. Ads are therefore displayed where the content is close to the page content.  This increases the likelihood that users will be interested in the ad.

What targeting do I need?

This depends on your campaign set-up at first. If you want to run a pure branding campaign, it is not necessarily necessary to use targeting. If necessary, you can use socio-demographic or geographic targeting - depending on the characteristics of your product.

If you want your campaign to be more specific, you should use appropriate targeting options. Most platforms will give you an overview of the different options. It is also never wrong to run several test campaigns to make comparisons between the respective specifications. Especially with semantic targeting, the performance can suffer from the low reach. Feel free to discuss this topic with our sales staff, who can give you an assessment of the performance with semantic targeting.