The Essence of Behavioral Targeting

This article is a summary of an eBook written by Rob Graham called Fishing From a Barrel: Using Behavioral Targeting to Reach the Right People With the Right Ads At the Right Time. You can get the pdf of the free behavioral targeting e-book here: The Essence of Behavioral Targeting.

As this is a very broad e-book, composed of nine chapters that comprehensively explain the value of behavioral targeting and how it works, this article will focus on certain aspects of the book.

A World of Individuals

Behavioral targeting is all about targeting me, and not targeting us. We need to embrace a new marketing paradigm shift which incorporates the fact taht we are unique individuals with unique needs, and stop advertisers from pretending that they need to create ads that reach out to as many people as possible, and make that their primary goal.

Even as consumers share the same interests, that doesn’t mean that they are the same. In fact, each customer is still unique and has many other interests. The key to behavioral targeting is having a good understanding to unlock the essence of a single individual and talk to that individual in his or her own language.

The Promise of Behavioral Targeting

The focus of this e-book is the effective use of behavioral targeting in its applications towards online advertising. This technique promises to make a win-win-win situation for the publishers, advertisers and consumers. Through cookies, a website will know so much about a consumer. For example, a site will know what the consumer is interested in, and know about what he expresses to be a more specific version of his interests. Through behavioral targeting, a website will recognize that a consumer is showing purchase intent, and even cost issues if the consumer shows attributes of delaying decision making.

With behavioral targeting, you tend to look at advertising the way we don’t normally look at it: as a noble event. A consumer will see relevant ads that caters to his desires and needs, presented opportunities to take advantage of offers that are agreeable and relevant to his current needs. An advertiser will know the specific interests of a user, with which banner ads were uncapable of doing. Publishers can make money by tracking a database of characteristics by visitors, creating profiles that they can sell to advertisers.

The Fine Art of Targeting

The old technique of advertising before the Internet was focused on quantity and quality, where consumers are presented with ads that sometimes interested us, but mostly didn’t. This old form of advertising has trained us that in the marketing process, our involvement wasn’t really necessary. But that can’t be further from the truth. Online has changed things dramatically. Online we can share our opinions, thoughts and questions. Advertisers no longer look at us as button clicking monkeys, rather as individual consumers wanting to engage in a dialogue with advertisers. Consumers as the questions and follow the path that interests us. It’s no longer a one size fits all thing.

An advertising message that has reached 1,000,000 of the wrong people is less effective than a message that has reached the right person. Advertisers should learn to listen to consumers, to remove irrelevancy in ads. They should understand that consumers like to be treated as individuals, and should try to listen to them. There is no single answer to how advertisers should talk to consumers to make them listen. One way to do that is watch the activity of consumers and get a sense of their needs and wants.

Striving for Effectiveness

To summarize, advertisers can take advantage of behavioral targeting by getting out of the frame of mind of a traditional advertiser and following these guidelines. First, it’s very pointless and ineffecient to reach everyone with the same advertising message. Second, reaching consumers with the wrong advertising message for far too many times will only irritate these consumers and not produce anything positive. Third, More than consumers need advertisers, it is advertisers that need consumers. Fourth, the window of opportunity for making good first impressions is very limited for advertisers.

Traditional Advertising, like direct marketing campaigns are such a waste, that they actually expect around 98 percent of consumers will reject or ignore the message they sent. Natural Resources and money are ewasted unnecessarily. A totally inefficient system.

With behavioral targeting, there is an ongoing relationship between targeted consumer and advertiser. If a targeted consumer sees an ad that he doesn’t like, the advertiser may send out a new ad with a stronger message and stronger offers, and then another offer, and if the consumer still doesn’t want anything to do with the ads, then the advertiser can take him out of the target list.

Behavioral targeting: an effective marketing strategy

Behavioral targeting is a strategy to effectively disseminate timely advertisements to the right person at the right time. This strategy has been put under fire because of concerns regarding privacy. The need for effective tools for marketing is as glaring as the need to survive in the world of business.

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Behavioral targeting trends 2010

The coming of the Internet marketing

Internet marketing is an exponentially growing trend in business today; however for most of the 20th century, advertising relied on traditional ways to disseminate information through conventional media. The results are good, but the expenses are colossal. The coming of the Internet marketing has brought in major impact on how advertisements are being done. One of those innovations is behavioral targeting. To date, the concept is not so new but its influence is greatly becoming popular as the battle for ROI (return of investment) stiffens with the fierce competition.

The need for effective advertising

The need for effective advertising is a glaring issue for entrepreneurs in this year and for years to come. Behavioral marketing provides effective ways to advertise to marginal groups that have the potential to buy it. The year 2010 is an excellent opportunity to expand its market and broaden its acceptability to entrepreneurs and consumers alike. The use of individual behavior in the internet on sites they usually view, purchases they made, and other activities is such a powerful tool to identify the needs of individual. The strategies may seem to have change over the years but the purpose is always the same for marketing and that is to earn profit at minimal expense.

Future behavioral targeting methods

The trends for behavioral targeting has a different curve for the year 2010 and onwards, as the category for targeting will now include family size, gender, age and income to perfectly accommodate not only the needs of individual but also his family; taking into consideration their purchasing power. With the addition of correct information, the products and services that will be offered will also be tailor fit to every aspect of the consumer. Behavioral targeting methods are also being developed with the building of a new platform that accurately measures the attributes of the audience in addition to impression, click and conversion metrics. This tool will be effective in providing advertisers with accurate picture of the specific audience that saw and interacted with each of its ads. The audience is calculated by variable and customizable metrics applicable to each marketer. These insights not only define and track audience metrics, but also help shape future marketing and even product decisions.

Reading the minds of consumers

The use of SEO and SEM to direct traffic in the internet is a successful tool in conquering the internet marketing supremacy. Reading the minds of consumers is a battle for behavioral targeting to be surmounted this present market situation. Predicting however is never an exact science as the history tells about it.  Forecasting the future needs can be as simple as looking at the calendar. Subtle weather changes and holidays can drive sales for specific business. According to the book “Reading Virtual Minds(aff) by a behavioral scientist Joseph Carrabis – Through computers, we can be able to identify future behaviors recognizing the overt and covert cues from individual consumers. Understanding the inherent possibilities of consumers can help advertisers to mount actions to take advantage of it.