Apply and Ignore Targeting Rules

This page explains how the targeting rules you added affect Pulse's decisioning process and whether you need to ignore (override) any parent rules to get the desired targeting effect.

Introduction

Targeting rules are one of the mechanisms used to determine who gets to see your ad, where, when, how often, and so on. You can configure targeting rules on global, campaign, and goal level. Each targeting rule can be observed in a parent-child relationship, based on the level it has been configured. For example, a campaign geotargeting rule is the parent of a goal geotargeting rule, and a global geotargeting rule is the parent of a campaign geotargeting rule.

A configured (not empty) parent rule has to be ignored (overriden) when it partially or entirely conflicts with the desired targeting outcome. When you check the override campaign targeting rule box on goal level, this means you are ignoring the parent (campaign) targeting rule. When you check the override global targeting rule box on campaign level, this means you are ignoring the parent (global) targeting rule.

The image below explains the decision flow Pulse goes through for each type of targeting rule in order to decide if a goal should be accepted or rejected for selection based on its targeting rules. As soon as a targeting rule on one of the levels does not match the ad request, the goal is rejected and not eligible for selection.

Note: If a goal, campaign, or global targeting rule is not configured (empty), it is considered to match all ad requests.

Targeting rules filtering process

The image above shows that the targeting coming in the ad request needs to either:
  • match the targeting on goal, campaign, and global level, or
  • at least match the targeting on goal level and ignore (override) the non-matching parent rules on the corresponding level.

When you configure your targeting rules, you can go through the decision flow above to verify whether you will get the expected result.

When should you not override the parent rule?

  • When the parent rule is empty (not configured). If a campaign or global targeting rule is empty, Pulse treats it as a matching rule, because an empty rule matches all requests.
  • When the child rule is exactly the same as the parent rule or is a subset of the parent rule.

For example, your targeting is configured as follows:

Example geotargeting with no overrides

The global geotargeting rule is empty, which means all viewers are allowed and no viewers are denied. Stockholm and Malmö are cities in Sweden, which means that each goal's geotargeting rule is a subset of the campaign geotargeting rule. When an ad request comes from a viewer in Stockholm or a viewer in Malmö, the corresponding goal is accepted based on its geotargeting and Pulse continues checking the other targeting rules.

Goal accepted decision flow

When should you override the parent rule?

When you want to partially or completely change the targeting for a specific campaign or goal, then you need to ignore the corresponding parent rule that does not match the new targeting. You do this by checking the corresponding override targeting rules box.

For example, your targeting is configured as follows:

Example wrongly configured geotargeting

Stockholm and Malmö are cities in Sweden, which means that each goal's geotargeting rule is a subset of the campaign geotargeting rule. However, when an ad request comes from a viewer in Stockholm or a viewer in Malmö, Pulse filters out this campaign and its goals because you have not ignored the global geotargeting rule, which is completely different than the campaign and goal geotargeting rule.

Goal rejected decision flow

You need to ignore the global geotargeting rules. You do this on campaign level by checking the Override Global Geotargeting Rules box. The geotargeting rule configuration then looks as follows:

Example geotargeting with overrides

Now, when an ad request comes from a viewer in Stockholm or a viewer in Malmö, the corresponding goal is accepted based on its geotargeting rules and Pulse continues checking the other targeting rules.

Goal accepted after override decision flow