This is the summary of an article by Amanda Green. It discusses behavioral tracking as a better way of segmenting consumers with deeper granularity and unmatched precision. Here’s a link to the original behavioral targeting article: Behavioral Tracking: Knowing Customers on a Deeper Level.
Previously, businesses used to operate on a “one size fits all” approach to marketing their products. This method, however, is not always effective and has proven to be rather costly on the part of the business owner. Likewise, even though databases that contain customers’ purchase history and geographical location may be helpful, they are not always reliable in predicting their purchasing behavior.
In contrast, behavioral tracking enables today’s business owners to collect more information about their potential consumers. Thus, they are able to know their customers on a much deeper level. In addition, they are equipped to target buyers more effectively and precisely.
Tracking Online Behavior
By tracking the online behavior of customers, business owners and marketers can predict browsing and purchasing patterns with more precision. According to Tony Ali, who is the SVP and CTO of the BKV agency, practically everything can be tracked online these days. He also explains that when they send an email to a customer, they can track their online activity and gather relevant data, including the most probable time when a message is opened, and the links that a customer might decide to click on. Notably, BKV is a direct response company, which supports the integration of communications through direct mail, email, mobile ads, online ads, Web sites, and other platforms.
Engaging the Customers
Behavioral tracking also makes it possible for businesses to engage their customers and establish more personal relationships. One example is Threadless, an online clothing store that collects customer data and studies their purchasing behavior. Aside from this, they also actively interact with their buyers through email and ask them directly what their preferences are. Liz Ryan, Threadless director for email marketing, shares that their aim is to engage their customers and to deliver the right content through the best channels.
Another example is Zappos.com, whose aim is to present their customers with the most relevant product offerings. Aside from tracking data through emails, they also gather a big portion of customer information on their Web site. Zappos.com marketing manager Michael Fellner adds that it is easier for them to test using email rather than direct mail, as it brings about more immediate and measurable responses.
Further Studies Needed
Meanwhile, despite the huge advances in tracking technology, further studies on behavioral tracking and targeting are still needed. This is because consumer behavior is harder to analyze, particularly in today’s unpredictable economic landscape. Fortunately, there are new companies like Custora, which seek to lean more about the “lifetime value” of customers and how they can be segmented based on future predictive behavior. Through efforts such as these, behavioral tracking can remain to be a helpful tool for the business owners that make use of it.