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.