Defining audiences for targeted changes - Bloomreach Experience - Open Source CMS

Defining audiences for targeted changes

Why do I need to have defined audiences?

Targeting requires audiences, which are groups of site visitors with specific characteristics. You can target changes to your site so that they affect only a specific set of all your site visitors. For example, you can create a ranking rule that boosts certain products for visitors who arrive at your site from a specific URL.

Before you can target your changes, you need to define the targeted audience.

You use rules to make changes

Changes that you make to your site through the Bloomreach Dashboard are done through rules. For example, if you want to redirect keyword searches that use a certain search term, then you create a rule.

As you work with targeted changes, you're managing rules to make your changes just like any other change. When you create or edit a rule, you have the opportunity to stipulate that the changes caused by your rule affect only a certain audience.


An audience is defined by a set of dimensions. You can think of dimensions as attributes that describe specific characteristics of audience members.

When you define an audience, you select at least one dimension. The default dimensions available to you are Device and Location. If you select Device, then a dropdown menu appears with a list of device types. If you select Location, then a search field appears where you can enter a geographical location.

What are the dimensions I can use to define an audience?

By default, there are two dimensions that you can use when you define an audience: Device and Location. However, your web development team can work with Bloomreach to create custom dimensions and values.

If you're new to defining targeted audiences, then we recommend that you select just a few dimensions to see how it works. Complicated audience definitions increase the risk of rule conflicts. In case of conflicts, Bloomreach uses the most recent rule as the dominant rule.

You can define an audience with the same dimension used multiple times. For example, Kusum is a digital marketer at Spiffy Tot. She wants to define an audience that uses only smartphones and tablets. She selects the Device dimension and assigns it the value, mobile. Then she selects the Device dimension again and assigns it the value, tablet, which is a custom device value.

Spiffy Tot's custom dimensions

Spiffy Tot is a retail site that sells clothes and toys for very young children. Here's a list of the dimensions that Spiffy Tot uses:

  • Device
  • Location
  • Not seen in X days
  • Not seen since X date
  • Referring URL
  • Site language

Location and device are the default dimensions. All of the other dimensions are custom.


Default values:

  • Mobile
  • Desktop

Use the device dimension if you want targeted rules to affect only people visiting your site from a specific device. For example, if you sell certain products only through mobile devices, then you might want to bury those products for audiences who use notebooks and desktops.


There isn't a default value for location.

The geographical location dimension includes a list of locations that you can select from. You can use this dimension to specify the location of audience members. For example, you might want to create a targeted rule that boosts artisanal cheeses for visitors located in France.

When you use this dimension, you need to start entering a location in the search field to trigger a list of suggestions. When you see the location you want, just click it and move on.

Best practices

Plan your audience

Before you define an audience, consider the kinds of changes that you anticipate for the audience. You can only assign one audience to a change, so the definition needs to include all the dimensions that describe the site visitors that you want to target.

For example, Kusum at Spiffy Tot wants to target a ranking rule at customers who live in Canada and visited the site at least once during the past month. She sees an audience already defined for customers living in Canada, and another audience defined for recent visitors. But she wants her new ranking rule to target both characteristics, so she defines her own audience.

Check the list of audiences that are already defined

A particular audience only has to be defined once. If you or someone else already defined the audience in the past, then you can skip straight to selecting that audience to target your promotion, rule, or other change.

Define your audience according to your organization's user personas

If you have a lot of custom dimensions, then it can require a lot of repetitive clicking to define an audience for every targeted change. We don't recommend that you put yourself to all that trouble.

Instead, consider defining audiences according to visitor or user personas that you might already have. And if you don't have these personas, then this might be a great opportunity to gather your stakeholders together and create them.

By defining audiences according to your own visitor personas, you not only save yourself from repetitive work, you also ensure that your rules in the Bloomreach Dashboard are aligned with your organization's larger marketing and merchandising efforts.

How do I define a new audience?

To define a new audience,

  1. Go to Bloomreach Dashboard and click Targeting.
  2. Select Audience on the left menu and click New Audience. The Audience Setup screen appears. 
  3. Enter the Audience Name and select the dimensions from the drop-down list. 
    Select a dimension
    • To set location based audience, select Location.
      1. Select a match type as IS to include the specified location or IS NOT to exclude the specified location.
        Note: You can add multiple locations by selecting OR.
        Add Location
    • To set device based targeting, select Device.
      1. Select a match type as IS to include the specified device or IS NOT to exclude the specified device.
      2. Select the type of Device from the drop-down as Mobile, Desktop or Tablet.
        Device Audience
  4. Click Save to create and save the audience. 

Dimensions are like attributes

You can think of dimensions as collections of attributes that describe specific characteristics of audience members. Click the select a dimension dropdown to see a list of the dimensions that you can configure for an audience. You might see the other dropdown lists change or text fields appear, depending on which dimension you select. Just use the lists and fields to set values for each dimension that you want to be part of this audience.

Setting up Multiple Dimensions

You can define multiple dimensions for an audience (Device, Location, URL, Ref URL) by selecting ADD DIMENSION button and defining each of the dimensions as per your requirement. 

Audience Setup Ecuador and not Mobile

How do I edit an existing audience definition?

Start with the list of all the audiences defined for your site. You get there by selecting the Targeting menu at the top of the Bloomreach Dashboard, then select Audience from the left menu.

Audience Overview

Click the name of the audience to open it. Now you can add, delete, and change dimensions until you're happy with the new definition. Click the Save button in the upper left corner when you're finished.

Edit targeting definition

What happens if I delete an audience?

Deleting an audience automatically disables any rules that target that audience.

If there are no rules that target an audience that you want to delete, then you can simply delete the audience without affecting your site.

You can see if there are rules that target an audience by checking the Rules Affected column in the Audience Overview page, which has a list of all the audiences defined for your site. If there are rules that target the audience, then a confirmation box opens when you click the name of the audience.  

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