As a consumer, you may well have noticed that advertising seems to follow you around the web. As a digital advertiser, you may well be responsible for that type of online advertising. Either way, you cannot escape what’s known as behavioral advertising.
But what exactly is behavioral advertising, how does it work and how is it different from what you’re already doing? Keep reading to find out.
Targeted & Personalized Marketing
Behavioral advertising has been around for years. In its pre-Internet form, it consisted of direct special mailings to repeat customers. But today, behavioral advertising has gone online, and involves serving personalized ads to individuals, based on their previous online behavior and interests.
With behavioral advertising, two people seeing the same web page may be served with completely different ads. Let’s take two surfers for example. One is an outdoors man who enjoys hiking, while the other is a huge fan of the theater. They’re both planning a visit to South Florida and end up on the same website to book their trips. But while the outdoors man will see ads for the local parks or hiking groups, the theater enthusiast will see ads for tickets to upcoming shows.
How the heck does behavioral advertising work?
In order to serve targeted ads to users based on their online history, you need to discover that previous history. To do that, you need to collect data on your users. Online advertisers do this by placing cookies on users’ computers. Interest categories based on the sites visited are attached to these cookies and allow advertisers to build up a picture of their browsing habits and interests. These interest categories are then used to deliver targeted ads.
Online advertisers love behavioral advertising; not to be confused with the more traditional contextual marketing - which delivers ads that are related to the content of the web page on which they’re appearing.
Why does it matter?
Understanding consumer behavior, interests and preference is key to presenting the right offer to the right customer at the right time. Translating online consumer behavior into actionable intelligence is the foundation of behavioral targeting. It is a learning-based investigation that offers the ability to create a personalized experience for the consumer.