Expanded Targeting

Verizon Media introduces a new targeting feature enhancement for Native Ad Platform advertisers: Expanded Targeting.

This new feature enhancement takes advantage of a proprietary machine learning algorithm developed by Verizon Media that enables advertisers to expand their reach beyond targeted audience segments that advertisers have specified for new and existing Native ad campaigns.

That means, you can now increase reach to better performing audiences. You’ll be able to identify more audiences that produce a greater number of conversions at the same or lower cost, thus increasing performance and ROI.

Expanded targeting as shown in the Define your audience settings panel for new ad campaigns

expanded targeting in the ui

Podcast

Tune into the Verizon Media Technical Documentation podcast for a capsule summary of this new feature enhancement released by the product development and engineering teams.

How It Works

Using this feature, which is enabled by default, audiences are targeted if the Target CPA is lower than or equal to specifically targeted audiences. If that occurs, Expanded Targeting will increase spend on the better performing expanded audience.

The expansion of targeting depends on the CPA the system calculates for a targeted audience. Your originally targeted audiences is still targeted, however.

Keep in mind that the Target CPA is not the desired CPA that you’ve specified but rather, the CPA benchmark observed by the system as it spends the budget on the targeted audience. You can’t enter a CPA goal for Expanded Targeting.

Ultimately, you can expect decreases in overall CPA while conversions can be expected to increase over time.

Note

The originally targeted audience is still active, in any case. The Expanded Targeting algorithm will search for additional audiences and divert your budget to them if they are relevant. The originally targeted audience is not eliminated, just the budget to it is reduced.

Targeting & Campaign Bidding Types

The following table describes the types of targeting and campaign bidding that work and do not work with Expanded Targeting:

Type

Works With

Doesn’t Work With

Targeting

  • Verizon Media Audiences

  • Advertiser 1st party data

  • 3rd party data

  • Custom Audiences (i.e., Website Traffic, Mobile ID, Email Address, Lookalike, App Events, Conversion Rule, and Predictive Audience)

Campaign bidding

  • Manual CPC

  • Enhanced CPC (eCPC)

  • DPA (retargeting, broad audiences)

  • KRT / SoN (keyword retargeting or Search on Native Ads)

  • Target CPA

  • Max conversions

  • CPM or oCPM

  • CPV

Important

For Manual CPC and eCPC campaign types, Expanded Targeting will measure the performance (CPA) of the originally targeted audiences and will then attempt to find expanded audiences that perform similarly or better than the original. If those audiences are found, it will begin to divert budget to them.

Implementation Details

Expanded Targeting is ACTIVE by default for new ad campaigns and PAUSED when turned off and disabled.

Note

If you wish, you can disable this functionality in your Native ads campaign settings. There may be specific cases where the original targeting is one that makes sense for a particular campaign and you may not wish to expand it to other segments: for example, if the creative design is somehow explicitly tied to the segment audience, like a campaign targeting, for instance, sports fans of a specific club with explicit language in the creative that references the club membership of the viewer.

Important

There is no explicit time frame (or window) for the implementation of expanded audiences. The algorithm doesn’t look at the life of the campaign, nor the time frame when the expanded audiences went into effect, or another factor. Data is weighed towards recent data with a half life of 3 days, so that data from 3 days ago is weighted at the adjusted bids, 6 days at 25% and so on.

Native Ads API & BULK Support

The Native Ads API provides expanded targeting support for the following targeting types:

  • Expanded Targeting=FALSE

  • UNKNOWN Gender=FALSE

  • UNKNOWN Age=FALSE

Bulk support for these targeting types is provided for Campaigns and Ad Groups. Refer to the documentation on those pages for more information.

Endpoint

Resource URI

https://api.gemini.yahoo.com/v3/rest/targetingattribute/

Enable Expanded Targeting in Your Campaigns

Method: To create a new ad that supports a targeting type, make a POST call with the Ad object to this endpoint:

https://api.gemini.yahoo.com/v3/rest/targetingattribute/

The response will be the newly created ad with a targeting type.

Note

When targeting is ON, Expanded Targeting is disabled.

For example:

Data passed:
{
    "type": "STRICT_GENDER_TARGETING",
    "advertiserId": 1000899406,
    "status": "ACTIVE",
    "parentType": "CAMPAIGN",
    "parentId": 100007431053,
    "exclude": "FALSE",
    "value": "true"
}
Response:
{
   "errors": null,
   "timestamp": "2021-02-04 22:39:47",
   "response": {
       "type": "STRICT_GENDER_TARGETING",
       "status": "ACTIVE",
       "id": 100000009180029,
       "lastUpdateDate": 1604454181830,
       "createdDate": 1604454181830,
       "advertiserId": 1000899406,
       "parentType": "CAMPAIGN",
       "parentId": 100007431053,
       "value": "true"
   }

Update Existing Targeting Attributes

Method: For targeting attributes, the only fields that can be updated are status and value. You can do this by making a PUT call with one or more TargetingAttribute, passing the id in the request body. For anything else, including updating the value field, the existing targeting attribute must be deleted and a new one should be created with the desired values.

Dive Deeper

The Expanded Targeting algorithm uses a portion of an advertiser’s budget on a better performing audience (i.e., the expanded audience) outside of the specifically targeted audience (i.e., the seed audience).

The sequence of programmatic events:

  1. The algorithm measures the CPA of the seed audience to serve as a target CPA for the expanded audience. The expanded audience will have a target CPA lower than or equal to that of the Seed audience.

  2. If the algorithm can’t find any expanded audience that meets the seed audience CPA target, then the budget is spent entirely on the seed audience.

  3. If the algorithm can find expanded audiences that meet the seed audience CPA target, the algorithm will spend up to 80% of the budget on the better performing expanded audience. In this case, advertisers can expect overall CPA to decrease and conversions to increase over time.

Note

For eCPC campaigns, the CPA target will be established by what the eCPC model reaches for the seed audience.

  1. If a Target CPA is set by the advertiser (such as in oCPC) and the advertiser agrees to expand to other segments, then there is no need for expanded targeting. You should simply remove the segments from the targeting and let the model find the best audiences to achieve that CPA.

  2. To elaborate on Point #4, does this mean that eCPC might be using adjusted bids to win the CPA in the seed audience - or the CPA in the eCPC 20% spend on the bids as entered, regardless of the seed targeting? To clarify and answer: If the campaign is eCPC, the bids increase/decrease will happen both on the seed audience and the expanded audience, with all being part of the campaign.

  3. As far as Reporting, expanded audiences may appear as UNKNOWN and shown as if advertisers have reached UNKNOWN users while these are in fact KNOWN users. In these cases, the system presents EXPANDED for the audiences that have been reached but not targeted – and only for the expanded audience campaigns.

Learn More

For more information on modifying bids and using bid adjustments, refer to:

FAQs

When should I enable Expanded Targeting?

By design, expanded audiences are only targeted when they have a CPA lower than or equal to that of your specifically targeted audience. With that in mind, we recommend that you enable Expanded Targeting whenever it is available.

Expanded Targeting is not available for all campaign objectives, namely, DPA (both retargeting and broad audiences) and keyword retargeting.

Expanded Targeting is also not available for certain bid strategies, such as oCPC (Target CPA), maximum conversions, and CPM/oCPM.

For performance campaigns (i.e., those manually optimized to conversions), is the best practice to keep expanded targeting switched on?

Expanded audience will improve performance (i.e., increase conversions and reduce CPA). It is recommended that you enable it for such cases.

What if you don’t have a Dot Tag or you don’t get conversions?

Expanded Targeting still works. In this case, we apply similar a logic as the model of Enhanced CPC. The algorithm will search other advertisers using those same audience segments who are tracking conversions and then use that information for your expanded audience.

If you have Dot, will Expanded Targeting incorporate signals from it, or will it still just rely on creative and user signals?

Yes, signals from Dot will be used if Dot data is available.

Does Expanded Targeting ever change my bids?

In some instances when using Manual CPC, Expanded Targeting can lower (but never raise) a bid in order to reach a lower CPA goal for the Expanded audience.

Are Predictive Audiences eligible for Expanded Targeting?

No. Predictive Audiences are a Custom Audience which is not eligible for Expanded Targeting.

Will Expanded Targeting result in campaigns for Native ads showing large amounts of spend against an audience named “unknown”?

Expanded Targeting will result with campaigns showing spend against an audience named Expanded. Specifically for cases that the spend was on an audience with no known Verizon Media audience segments, it will show as Unknown.