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Targeting Rules

Targeting rules are predefined criteria or conditions used to direct specific actions or resources towards particular targets within a system. These rules help determine how software functionality, such as advertising, content delivery, or user interactions, should behave.

What are Targeting Rules?

Targeting rules in software development refer to a set of criteria or conditions used to select specific segments of users, accounts, or devices for directing or applying certain actions, configurations, or features. 

Key Concepts:

  • Criteria: The defining factors or conditions used to determine the selection of targets within a system. These criteria can include user demographics, device characteristics, geographical location, user preferences, or any other relevant parameters.
  • Segmentation: The process of dividing users, devices, or contexts into distinct groups based on predetermined criteria. Segmentation enables the application of targeting rules to specific subsets of the system’s user base or infrastructure.
  • Personalization: The customization of software experiences, content, or features based on targeting rules applied to individual users or user segments. Personalization enhances user engagement and satisfaction by delivering tailored experiences that meet specific user needs or preferences.
  • Dynamic Targeting: The ability to adjust targeting rules in real-time based on changing conditions, user interactions, or environmental factors. Dynamic targeting ensures adaptive and responsive software behavior, allowing systems to effectively cater to evolving requirements and user contexts.
  • Rule-based Engine: A component of software systems responsible for processing targeting rules and determining the appropriate actions or configurations based on specified criteria. Rule-based engines often employ algorithms, decision trees, or rule sets to automate the targeting process efficiently.
  • A/B Testing: A method used to evaluate the effectiveness of software by comparing different variations of content, features, or configurations among user groups. The goal of A/B testing is to determine the most favorable outcomes in terms of user engagement, conversion rates, or other performance metrics. A/B testing depends on targeting to assign users to these different variations. In this context, targeting by user attributes may be used to focus on a subset of users, but the final selection of which user within that subset gets which experience depends on targeting rules that control random assignment to eliminate the potential for sample bias. 

Application Areas:

  • Marketing and Advertising: Targeting rules play a crucial role in delivering personalized advertisements, promotional offers, or marketing campaigns to specific audience segments, maximizing the effectiveness of marketing efforts and optimizing return on investment.
  • Content Management: Content-driven applications utilize targeting rules to deliver relevant content or media assets tailored to individual user interests, browsing behaviors, or demographic profiles, enhancing user engagement and retention.
  • E-commerce: Targeting rules enable e-commerce platforms to recommend products, promotions, or discounts based on user preferences, purchase history, or browsing patterns, facilitating personalized shopping experiences and driving sales.
  • User Experience Optimization: By applying targeting rules to customize user interfaces, navigation flows, or feature sets, software developers can enhance the overall user experience, making applications more intuitive, efficient, and enjoyable for targeted user segments.
  • Resource Allocation: In network management or distributed systems, targeting rules are used to allocate resources, prioritize traffic, or optimize performance based on the characteristics and requirements of specific devices, applications, or user groups.


  • An e-commerce platform employs targeting rules to offer personalized product recommendations based on a user’s purchase history, browsing behavior, and demographic profile.
  • A mobile application adjusts its interface layout and feature set dynamically based on the screen size, resolution, and input capabilities of the user’s device using targeting rules.
  • An online streaming service delivers tailored content recommendations to individual users by analyzing their viewing history, genre preferences, and ratings through targeting rules.

Switch It On With Split

The Split Feature Data Platform™ gives you the confidence to move fast without breaking things. Set up feature flags and safely deploy to production, controlling who sees which features and when. Connect every flag to contextual data, so you can know if your features are making things better or worse and act without hesitation. Effortlessly conduct feature experiments like A/B tests without slowing down. Whether you’re looking to increase your releases, to decrease your MTTR, or to ignite your dev team without burning them out–Split is both a feature management platform and partnership to revolutionize the way the work gets done. Schedule a demo or explore our feature flag solution at your own pace to learn more.

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