Targeting and Retargeting Best Practices

April 21, 2022
Targeting and Retargeting Best Practices

The below Targeting and Retargeting guide is a list of best practices for utilizing a DSP. If you’re an Amobee DSP client, please visit our Help Center for more tips and tricks.

General Best Practices

  • Avoid layering multiple targeting options in one package/line item: Layering multiple targeting options in one package/line item can severely limit your campaign delivery.
  • Split environment (Desktop Web, Mobile Web, or Mobile App) for optimization efficiency: Set up separate packages/line items by environment for more effective CPC or CPA optimization.
  • Apply environment-specific pre-bid filters to your campaign: Such filters include Brand Safety and Viewability filters.
  • Avoid fraud heavy hours of the day in your timezone:  For example, 12 AM PST – 5 AM PST.
  • Exclude Small, Unknown and Vertical player sizes on line items targeting desktop web environment in Video Settings targeting option.

  • Enable Cross-Device targeting at package/line item level to save costs: Amobee recommends enabling Cross-Device targeting only on specific packages/line items with the goal of expanding reach. A fee of CPM $0.5 is applied across all packages/line items if you enable Cross-Device targeting at the IO level.
  • Enable Cross-Device frequency cap at IO level for better control: Amobee recommends enabling Cross-Device frequency cap at the IO level for better overall frequency control across all targeting selections under the IO.
  • Remove open exchanges when targeting PMP deals only: You can run both open exchanges and PMP deals in one package/line item. When targeting only PMP deals, remember to remove open exchanges.
  • Set a lower First-Price Auction than Second-Price Auction: You can place two bids when using flat bidding. Your first bid price should always be lower than your second-bid price.
  • Leverage viewability algorithm on video: The viewability algorithm often outperforms the pre-bid segment, as it leverages real time signals and more data points for better optimization. There may be a fee associated with this setup; reach out to your account team or email Amobee Support for more information.
  • Use Nielsen Demographic targeting: To make sure ads are shown to the right demographic segments, use Nielsen Demographic targeting. Nielsen’s Digital Ad Rating (DAR) is an accredited verification tool that measures the likelihood of your ad campaign being targeted to appropriate demographic segments. However, note that using Nielsen can sometimes limit reach and under-deliver on all environments, especially mobile web.
  • Avoid conflicting targeting options: Some targeting selections may conflict with others. Make sure that each targeting selection, including all categories within each concept and segment, aligns with all other targeting selections.  Here are some examples of recommended steps:
    • Remove any negative news categories from your Brand Safety concept when targeting news-related PMPs.
    • Apply Cross-Device targeting when targeting only the mobile app environment and when using a segment containing cookie-based data.
    • When using a Country Music Enthusiasts segment only in Hoboken, New Jersey, you can resolve underspend by using audience extension to identify other relevant categories of users that aren’t limited to a specific music taste that is uncommon in that city.
    • Set a bid price that is at least a dollar (USD) higher than all data costs and margins applied. A line item with a $1.00 bid price and $0.75 in various data and margin costs will have less than $0.25 for buying inventory.
    • Set video bid prices over $10.00 to allow your campaign to target more premium and better performing inventory. Significantly lower video bid prices will struggle to deliver and/or meet performance goals.
    • Make sure line items using Automated Bidding to optimize to CPA goals only have conversion beacons with consistent fires.

Contextual Targeting Best Practices

Here are some best practices for creating and utilizing contextual targets/target sets.

  • Ensure scale: Do not rely on only one contextual partner for contextual targeting. Create multiple targets/target sets from partners such as Grapeshot (acquired by Oracle), Double Verify, IAS, etc. to ensure scale and provide flexibility for performance optimization. Contextual targeting on apps is less scalable, so use app categories from Peer 39, for example, to help improve scale.
  • Custom keyword targeting: If custom keywords are needed, create Amobee contextual targets or reach out to the support teams of partners like Oracle.
  • Contextual target creation is an optional step available during line item creation: Instead of creating a contextual target in advance, you can create and save targets/target sets directly in the line item workflow.

Retargeting Best Practices

Retargeting is the primary driver of conversion performance and required for the success of most campaigns. Retargeting is done based on the pixels that you have placed. Pixels can be added on any page.

When a user is on the page that the pixel is placed on, he is automatically added to the pixel’s pool of cookies. Once in that pool of cookies, Amobee can re-engage the user wherever there is programmatic media available. We can’t target a specific user, but we can retarget the pool of cookies as a whole.

The number one tactic for retargeting is to optimize by recency buckets. Recency is the amount of time since the user has been to the page with pixels. A recency bucket of one hour would mean that it’s been within an hour, since the user was on the page with pixels. Often, the shorter or smaller the recency is, the more effective it is. This is because the user is probably pretty far down the consumer funnel and close to the purchase phase.

The typical buckets we recommend are one hour, one day, seven days, and 30 days. One hour or shorter recency is most effective.

Here are some best practices for retargeting your campaign:

  • Create a pixel strategy Based on the desired level of granularity for targeting and/or reporting.
  • Target hand raisers: You can target hand raisers that have shown an interest in your brand such as users that have reached your homepage or have abandoned their cart.
  • Exclude users: You can exclude users that have opted out or are unlikely to take a desired action.
  • Leverage recency: You can look at recent actions that users have or have not taken to align your bid strategy with the sales cycle. For example, you can place more aggressive bids against those users who have abandoned their cart in the last 24 hours.
  • Manage frequency: You can ensure users are getting enough exposure without being over-saturated. This is especially important for retargeting audiences who are likely to have a smaller scale.
  • Personalize creative messages: You can personalize the creative messages for each retargeting audience. For example, if you are going to retarget users with an abandoned cart, you could say something like “We’re holding your cart.”


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