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Managing Targets

Getting your ad in front of the right people; that's what targeting is all about. With targeting, Bing Ads can help you focus a campaign or ad group on potential customers who meet specific criteria, so you can increase the chance that they see your ads. You may target your ads to display to users of a certain age group, display at a certain day and time of the week, or display to users in a particular geographical location.

Targets are stored in a library that can be accessed by any campaign or ad group across all accounts within a customer. You may associate the target with one or more ad groups or campaigns. An ad group or campaign can be associated with only one target. For more information, see Entity Hierarchy and Limits.

You should specify your minimum target requirements at the campaign level and then use ad group targeting to narrow or refine your targeting requirements.

  • If you specify the same target types at the ad group and campaign level, the ad group-level targets will override the campaign-level targets. For example, if the campaign location target is the U.S. and the ad group location target is California, the ads will display only to users in California. Or, if the campaign targets Mondays and Wednesdays and the ad group targets Tuesdays and Thursdays, the ads will display only on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

  • When a target type is not specified at the ad group level, that type is effectively inherited from the campaign if it exists in the campaign. For example, you can specify country targeting at the campaign level and day and time targeting at the ad group level. If the country target is set to U.S. and the day and time target is set to Monday from 11am - 3pm, then the ads will display to users in the U.S. on Mondays from 11am - 3pm.

For details about managing your targets, see the following sections.

For code examples that show how to associate targets with a campaign and ad group, see C# | Java | PHP.

System_CLiX_note Note

For information about related programming elements, see Campaign Management Service Reference.

Target Types

Bing Ads Version 9 supports both Target and Target2 objects. You should use Target2. The Target2 object includes the DayTimeTarget and LocationTarget2 objects, which are not included in the legacy Target object.

The sub targets in the following sections are available within the Target2 object.

Age Target

You can target customers by age so that your ads are displayed more frequently to people who will be interested in them. Use the AgeTarget object to define a list of one or more age ranges to target your ads.

DayTime Target

As your campaign progresses, you may find that your click-through rate and conversion rate are highest during certain times, for example, weeknights. This might be a perfect opportunity to use bid adjustments to improve your chances of displaying your ad Monday through Friday from 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M.. When targeting by time, you are targeting the searcher's local time zone. For example, if you increase your bid by 10% for 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M., that bid adjustment will be effective from 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Eastern Time for searchers in New York, then be effective 6:00 P.M. to 11:00 P.M. Pacific Time for searchers in Seattle. Now you are showing your ads when your potential customers are online!

Use the DayTimeTarget object to define a list of one or more days to target your ads.

System_CLiX_note Note

If your ad group uses either the DayTarget or HourTarget (not both types), and then you set a DayTimeTarget for the campaign, the Bing Ads system adds the missing DayTarget or HourTarget to the ad group.

Remember that when a target type is not specified at the ad group level, that type is effectively inherited from the campaign if it exists in the campaign. For example if you had a campaign hour target from 11am - 3pm and an ad group day target on Monday, the effective ad group delivery time is Monday, 11am - 3pm. If you then changed the campaign target to a day and time range from 1pm - 1:15pm on Tuesday, Bing Ads helps preserve your original effective delivery range of Monday, 11am - 3pm by adding an hour target of 11am - 3pm to the ad group target.

If you had previously set up your legacy Target object with separate Day and Hour elements, you can get the Target2 object version and it will include the equivalent DayTimeTargetBid objects. For example if you had set the target's DayTargetBid to Monday and its HourTargetBid to ThreeAMToSevenAM, this DayTimeTarget will include seven DayTimeTargetBid objects (one for each day of the week) with FromHour set to 3; FromMinute set to 0; ToHour set to 7; ToMinute set to 0.

The bid adjustment of the DayTimeTargetBid would be set to the multiplied union of the DayTargetBid and HourTargetBid. For example if the Day bid adjustment is 10 and the Hour bid adjustment is 10, the multiplied percentage bid adjustment is 21. For more information about multiplicative bid adjustments, see Bid Adjustments.

Once you or another application set the DayTime element of this Target2 object, then the Day and Hour elements of the legacy Target object will be nil when retrieved. Any subsequent Day and Hour element updates via UpdateTargetsInLibrary will be accepted and overwrite a previously specified DayTime setting.

DeviceOS Target

When you target by device, you choose to show ads to potential customers when they're using desktops and tablets or smartphones. For smartphones, you can also choose specific operating systems. Use the DeviceOSTarget object to define a list of one or more devices and operating systems to target your ads.

System_CLiX_note Note

Device targeting applies only to text ads. It cannot be applied to Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) mobile ads, which are intended for mobile devices that do not have full web browsers. For more information about WAP mobile ads, see MobileAd Data Object and Tell me about WAP mobile ads.

The sections below describe the Q3 2014 Computers and Tablets Device Target Consolidation (Phase 1) and the upcoming Q1 2015 Computers, Tablets, and Smartphones Device Target Consolidation (Phase 2). For more information, see Unified Device Targeting FAQs.

Computers and Tablets Device Target Consolidation (Q3 2014)

In Q3 2014, Computers and Tablets device targets were consolidated for all customers. Now when specifying the array of devices to target in the DeviceOSTarget object, both Computers and Tablets should always be specified together. Whenever you specify a DeviceOSTargetBid where the DeviceName is Computers, you should also have a DeviceOSTargetBid with the DeviceName set to Tablets. Optionally you can specify a bid adjustment (-20% to 300%) for tablets. Bid adjustments for computers were migrated to zero (0) and you are no longer allowed to set a non-zero bid adjustment for computers. If you do not specify both Computers and Tablets, the service does not throw any error and implicitly adds the missing device target.

Given a list of DeviceOSTarget bids, (For example if Bids[0].DeviceName is Computers,Bids[1].DeviceName is Tablets, and Bids[2].DeviceName is Smartphones) the following table describes the results of all conditions. Each result was applied to any existing device targets during the Q3 2014 computers and tablets target consolidation, as well as any new targets that you add.

Computers

Tablets

Smartphones

Result

No bid

No bid

No bid

Default. Target all devices with no bid adjustments.

Bid specified

No bid

No bid

Computers will be added. If you specified a bid adjustment for Computers it will be ignored and set to zero.

The service adds Tablets implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

System_CLiX_note Note

After the Q1 2015 Smartphones consolidation, the service will add Smartphones implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

No bid

Bid specified

No bid

The service adds Computers implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

Tablets will be added with your specified bid adjustment.

System_CLiX_note Note

After the Q1 2015 Smartphones consolidation, the service will add Smartphones implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

Bid specified

Bid specified

No bid

Computers will be added. If you specified a bid adjustment for Computers it will be ignored and set to zero.

Tablets will be added with your specified bid adjustment.

System_CLiX_note Note

After the Q1 2015 Smartphones consolidation, the service will add Smartphones implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

No bid

No bid

Bid specified

Smartphones will be added with your specified bid adjustment.

Bid specified

No bid

Bid specified

Computers will be added. If you specified a bid adjustment for Computers it will be ignored and set to zero.

The service adds Tablets implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

Smartphones will be added with your specified bid adjustment.

No bid

Bid specified

Bid specified

The service adds Computers implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

Tablets and Smartphones will be added with your specified bid adjustments.

Bid specified

Bid specified

Bid specified

Computers will be added. If you specified a bid adjustment for Computers it will be ignored and set to zero.

Tablets and Smartphones will be added with your specified bid adjustments.

Additionally as a part of the Q3 2014 consolidation, you are no longer able to bid on specific tablet operating systems. When setting a DeviceOSTargetBid with the DeviceName set to Tablets, the OSNames element should be null. If you set OSNames to a non-null value, the service does not throw any error, ignores the specified values, and stores the setting as null. Effectively you are required to bid on all tablet operating systems. Then when you retrieve the DeviceOSTargetBid, the OSNames element will be null.

Computers, Tablets, and Smartphones Device Target Consolidation (Q1 2015)

In Q1 2015, Smartphones device targets will be consolidated with Computers and Tablets device targets. When specifying the array of devices to target in the DeviceOSTarget object, Smartphones must be specified along with Computers and Tablets. Whenever you specify any device target bids using DeviceOSTargetBid, you should specify one of each type (Computers, Tablets, Smartphones) or be prepared for the system to implicitly add the missing device targets. Optionally you can specify bid adjustments (-20% to 300%) for tablets and smartphones. Bid adjustments for computers were migrated to zero (0) during Q3 2014 Computers and Tablets Consolidation, and you are no longer allowed to set a non-zero bid adjustment for computers. Compared to the Q3 2014 changes already in place, the only difference in the results for Q1 2015 is that when you do not specify a bid for Smartphones, the service adds Smartphones implicitly with a bid adjustment of zero.

Additionally as a part of the Q1 2015 consolidation, you will no longer be able to bid on specific smartphone operating systems. When setting a DeviceOSTargetBid with the DeviceName set to Smartphones, the OSNames element should be null. If you set OSNames to a non-null value, the service does not throw any error, ignores the specified values, and stores the setting as null. Effectively you will be required to bid on all smartphone operating systems. Then when you retrieve the DeviceOSTargetBid, the OSNames element will be null. The same restriction on operating system bids were already implemented for tablets in Q3 2014.

Gender Target

You can target customers by gender so that your ads are displayed more frequently to people who will be interested in them. Use the GenderTarget object to define a list of one or both genders to target your ads.

Location Target

When you target by location, you can choose to show ads to potential customers in, searching for, or viewing pages about:

  • All available countries/regions

  • Selected cities, zip codes, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions

  • A specified radius around a zip code, coordinates, landmark, or area

Use the LocationTarget2 object to define a list of one or more locations to target your ads. This object includes the PostalCodeTarget and RadiusTarget2 objects, which are not included in the original LocationTarget object.

The LocationTarget2 object includes elements that can contain one or more of the following granular target bids.

System_CLiX_note Note

Although location targeting is most often used to designate the specific locations where you want to show your ads, Bing Ads also lets you target locations you specifically want to exclude from seeing your ads. To exclude a target set the IsExcluded element to true within any of the following target bids except RadiusTargetBid2. The default value for IsExcluded is False.

For information on location codes to use for each target bid value, see Geographical Location Codes.

Location Intent Options

Set IntentOption to PeopleInOrSearchingForOrViewingPages if you want to show ads to people in, searching for, or viewing pages about your targeted location. For example if the LocationTarget2 includes London and IntentOption is PeopleInOrSearchingForOrViewingPages, then someone physically located in Florida searching for London hotels will see the ad.

Set IntentOption to PeopleIn if you only want to show ads to people in your targeted location. For example if the LocationTarget2 is set to London and IntentOption is PeopleIn, then someone physically located in Florida searching for London hotels will not see the ad.

Set IntentOption to PeopleSearchingForOrViewingPages if you want to show ads to people searching for or viewing pages about your targeted location. For example if the LocationTarget2 includes London and IntentOption is PeopleSearchingForOrViewingPages, then someone physically located in Florida searching for London hotels will see the ad. Someone located in London who searches for your keywords, but does not search for or about the targeted location will not see the ads.

For more information and examples, please see How can I get my ads in front of my customers?.

System_CLiX_important Important

The LocationTarget2 object provides three intent options, effectively adding the option to show ads to people searching for or viewing pages about your targeted location - and not necessarily people in the location. Each of the three intent options can also be set using the Bing Ads web application. When retrieving the LocationTarget object, the value of the HasPhysicalIntent element depends on which value you or another application set for the IntentOption element of the LocationTarget2 object - or the equivalent value applied using the Bing Ads web application.

  • If IntentOption is set to PeopleInOrSearchingForOrViewingPages, then HasPhysicalIntent will be false.

  • If IntentOption is set to PeopleIn, then HasPhysicalIntent will be true.

  • If IntentOption is set to PeopleSearchingForOrViewingPages, then HasPhysicalIntent will be nil.

Default Target Settings

For campaigns and ad groups created using the Bing Ads API, there is no associated target defined by default. For example if you call GetTargetsByCampaignIds2, the response would include a nil target as follows.

<Targets xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
  <Target2 i:nil="true"/>
</Targets>

This is the effective equivalent of targeting all ages, days, devices, genders, hours, and locations worldwide.

As a best practice you should consider at minimum adding a location target corresponding to the customer market country. For example, by default in the Bing Ads web application, All locations worldwide is not the default setting. If your Customer market country is set to US, then by default when creating a new campaign in the Bing Ads web application your campaign will target the United States within Selected cities, metro areas, states/provinces, and countries/regions. When getting targets the service will return the corresponding LocationTarget2 as follows.

<Targets xmlns:i="http://www.w3.org/2001/XMLSchema-instance">
   <Target2>
     <Age i:nil="true"/>
     <DayTime i:nil="true"/>
     <DeviceOS i:nil="true"/>
     <ForwardCompatibilityMap xmlns:a="http://schemas.datacontract.org/2004/07/System.Collections.Generic"/>
     <Gender i:nil="true"/>
     <Id>TargetIdGoesHere</Id>
     <IsLibraryTarget>true</IsLibraryTarget>
     <Location>
        <CityTarget i:nil="true"/>
        <CountryTarget>
          <Bids>
           <CountryTargetBid>
              <BidAdjustment>0</BidAdjustment>
              <CountryAndRegion>US</CountryAndRegion>
              <IsExcluded>false</IsExcluded>
           </CountryTargetBid>
        </Bids>
        </CountryTarget>
        <IntentOption>PeopleInOrSearchingForOrViewingPages</IntentOption>
        <MetroAreaTarget i:nil="true"/>
        <PostalCodeTarget i:nil="true"/>
        <RadiusTarget i:nil="true"/>
        <StateTarget i:nil="true"/>
     </Location>
     <Name>targetgroup1</Name>
  </Target2>
</Targets>

Adding Targets

To create a target that you can associate with an ad group or campaign, complete the following steps.

  1. Create an instance of the object that represents the desired target and assign it to the appropriate element of the Target2 object. For example to target users in a specific country, create an instance of the CountryTarget object within the LocationTarget2 and assign it to the target's Location element. Specify the target country and bid adjustment percentage by creating an instance of the CountryTargetBid object, and then assign it to the Bids element of the CountryTarget.

    System_CLiX_note Note

    For information on location codes to use for each target bid value, see Geographical Location Codes.

  2. To add the Target object to your target library, call the AddTargetsToLibrary2 operation. Preserve the target identifier that AddTargetsToLibrary2 returns.

  3. To associate the target with a campaign, call the SetTargetToCampaign operation, passing the campaign identifier and the target identifier.

  4. To associate the target with an ad group, call the SetTargetToAdGroup operation, passing the ad group identifier and the target identifier.

An ad group and campaign can be associated with only one target. If you try to associate more than one target with an ad group or campaign, the SetTargetToAdGroup and SetTargetToCampaign operations will throw an exception.

Getting Targets

You can get information about the targets that are in your library by using the GetTargetsInfoFromLibrary operation. This operation returns an array of TargetInfo objects for all targets in your library. The TargetInfo object contains only basic information, such as the identifier of the target.

To obtain more detailed information about one or more targets, use the GetTargetsByIds2 operation. This operation takes an array of target identifiers and returns the full set of information about the specified targets.

To get the targets that are associated with one or more ad groups, use the GetTargetsByAdGroupIds2 operation. Similarly, use the GetTargetsByCampaignIds2 operation to get the targets that are associated with one or more campaigns.

Updating Targets

To update one or more targets, call the UpdateTargetsInLibrary2 operation. Because the update operation performs a complete overwrite of the existing target, you typically call the GetTargetsByIds2 operation to get the target, modify the target as appropriate, and then call UpdateTargetsInLibrary2.

System_CLiX_important Important

Partial update is not supported for targets. Any optional elements which are not sent with the update request will in effect be deleted from the target. For example, if the target contains the DayTime and Location target types and you create a Target2 object and specify only the DayTime target type with the updated day and time, the target will contain only the DayTime target type after the update.

Deleting Targets

To remove the target association for an ad group, call the DeleteTargetFromAdGroup operation. To remove the target association for a campaign, call the DeleteTargetFromCampaign operation. These operations remove only the association between the entity and the target. The target is still retained in the library even if there is no association.

To remove a target from your library, call the DeleteTargetsFromLibrary operation.

Bid Adjustments

The ad group or keyword bid is used as the default or base bid. When you define a target, you can choose to adjust the base bid by a specified percentage. For example, if your business sells pet supplies on the Internet, and you also have a storefront in Seattle, you can set your base bid for the "pet supplies" keyword to $1, and create a location target for your campaign that adjusts the bid by 50% for users in the Seattle metropolitan area. If a user in Los Angeles searches for "pet supplies", your bid for that keyword will be the base bid of $1.00. If a user in Seattle searches for "pet supplies", your bid is adjusted by 50% to $1.50. Placing a bid adjustment increases the likelihood that your ad is displayed in a better position for customers who meet your targeting criteria.

Additive Bid Adjustments

System_CLiX_important Important

Bing Ads has transitioned from additive bid adjustments to multiplicative bid adjustments.

Multiplicative Bid Adjustments

The base bid is adjusted by multipliers of the bid adjustment percentage values that you specify for each target type that applies to the search user. For example, say you specify a day target for Saturday with a 20% bid adjustment, and a Seattle metropolitan area target with a 30% bid adjustment. If the user resides in Seattle and searches on a Saturday, the service increases the base bid by 56%. The example is calculated as follows.

1.00 (base bid default) * 1.20 (day bid adjustment) * 1.30 (location bid adjustment) = 1.56 (56 percent adjustment)

System_CLiX_note Note

After calculation, bid adjustments are rounded to two decimals of precision. For example, 1.1749 is rounded to 1.17 (17%), or 1.175 is rounded to 1.18 (18%).

Target Bid Adjustments

To adjust the bid for a target, set the corresponding BidAdjustment element in the following target bid objects.

System_CLiX_note Note

Multiple bid adjustments across location targets are not combined. If you specify geographically-related combinations of country/region, state/province, metropolitan area, or city targets, the bid adjustment of the most refined target would apply.

For example, if the search user is located in Redmond and country is set to US with a 10% bid adjustment, state is set to US-WA with a 20% bid adjustment, metro area is set to Seattle-Tacoma, WA, WA US with a 30% bid adjustment, and city is set to Redmond, Seattle-Tacoma, WA WA US with a 40% bid adjustment, then the bid would be adjusted by 40%. If the user is located elsewhere within the Seattle-Tacoma metropolitan area, for example in Bellevue, the bid would be increased by 30%.

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