Targeting consists in showing specific visitors a certain piece of content based upon pre-defined criteria, such as previous visitor behaviour (eg. a visitor added items to the basket but did not convert), time of day, browser type, contextual messaging (eg. strike action, delays), etc. Only the visitors you want to target get to see this content, and you can track their actions via Conversion Events.
Unlike AB testing which has a competitive aspect to it (the hypothesis being that the Experiment will bring an improvement compared to the Control), Targeting is used mainly as a content-serving tool.
As such, you can elect not to have a Control version for a Target project, but rather serve your Experiment to 100% of the users who are eligible for it according to the display rules of the project in question. Every returning visitor is constantly reassessed for eligibility, making these types of projects highly reliable and automatically relevant.
Targeting comes in handy if you need to make regular changes or display various messages on your site, but do not have any internal development resource to achieve this. The display rules attached to targeting can be highly customised in order to suit your most precise goals.
Here is a great, simple, example of Targeting in action: if you still have a lot of visitors using deprecated browser versions that may not be compatible with your website, you can encourage these visitors to upgrade to a more recent version of their browser by targeting only the users whose browser is detected to be at risk of incompatibility.
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