With custom targeting, you can define your own targeting criteria (such as age, gender, or content) that DFP Small Business wouldn't otherwise be able to determine.
To use custom targeting, you create key-values in DFP Small Business, target your line items to them, and then pass the key-values into your ad tags. If a line item targets a key-value, the ad server will only serve it to the ad tags on your website that include that key-value. You can specify up to 20 keys for custom targeting criteria and up to 200 values for each key.
You can either pre-define a key and its values or you can set up a free-form key-value. With free-form key-values, you define the key but the values are dynamically passed to the ad tag based on information about a user or a user's behavior. If you require more than 200 possible targeting values per key and don't want to define your targeting values in advance, use free-form targeting instead of custom targeting. (Learn how to define custom targeting criteria.)
When targeting a line item to custom criteria, you can create what are called complex targeting expressions by targeting multiple keys and values simultaneously. Values within a targeting key can be treated as either AND or OR statements. For example, you can target ([country=US OR country=Canada] AND [industry=entertainment OR industry=health]). You can also add sets of key-value pairs, related by an OR. For example, you can target ([gender=male AND country=US] OR hobby=cars).
After you establish your targeting keys, you pass them into the ad tag (learn how).
How are multiple keys and values treated by the ad server?
All free-form values you enter under a single key will be treated as OR statements (example: airport=SFO OR ORD OR JFK). Any multiple targeting keys you use will be treated as AND statements (airport=SFO AND hotel=yes).
How does forecasting take custom key-values into account?
When running a forecast on a prospective line item, free-form values are taken into account; defined values need to have been added 28 days prior to a forecast in order be fully accounted for in the projection. (Learn more about forecasting custom key-values)
Reporting on custom targeting criteria
In order to generate an accurate report that includes custom targeting key-values, you must either define the key-values as custom criteria on the Inventory tab, or target at least one line item to the key-value.
If you're using free-form targeting values, you must target the entire key-value (not just the key) in at least one line item in order to be able to report on it. For example, you might define a free-form key-value called
articleIDto target individual articles on your site. Once you target a line item to the key-value
articleID=12345, you should be able to record impressions on that key-value.
Additionally, free-form key-value pairs that match targeting values using the "begins with" (*) or "includes" (~) match will not appear in reports. In order to report on free-form key-values, the line item must target the entire key-value pair. For example, the targeting value
articleID=example*will not enable key-value pairs such as
articleID=example12345to appear in reports.
If you're using pre-defined targeting values, you'll be able to report on key-values regardless of whether you target line items to them.