One of the basic requirements for a marketing message to be accepted by the online public is relevance. Everyday, people encounter thousands of ads wherever website they go, and it’s almost impossible to capture the real interest of those who are really in the market for a purchase or service.
That’s where behavioral targeting comes in.
Wikipedia defines ‘behavioral targeting’ as “a range of technologies and techniques used by online website publishers and advertisers aimed at increasing the effectiveness of advertising using user web-browsing behavior information.”
We usually see these in website ads and also social network sites which are tailored based on a user’s search history. For example, a user who has searched the web for hotel rates on Google may see advertisements for hotels when he visits other websites. “Liking” a relevant business page on Facebook can also trigger these ads.
Behavioral targeting helps boost lead generation by making users’ web browsing experience more “personalized” and thus allows them to consider multiple channels of marketing.
What’s the catch?
A HuffingtonPost article claims that behavioral targeting is dead because of its incompleteness in revealing the true interest of leads, as well as the narrowness of the data being used to target users, which ultimately results to posting of ads with little or no advertising value.
Other possible disadvantage of behavioral targeting is the fact that some users feel “invaded” whenever they sense that the internet is monitoring their online behavior. Most of them don’t want ads or any type of marketing message to follow them wherever they go around the web. Plus, behavioral targeting does not take into account whether a user has already bought a particular product or service, which may lead to redundancy.
Why it’s still an advantage
Despite the potential pitfalls of behavioral targeting, it’s still worthy to note the obvious benefits. Putting users’ preferences and activities into account makes the entire browsing experience more tailor-fit to one’s needs, which includes both the aesthetic and contextual aspects of the browser.
Behavioral targeting does not assess your interests based on just few data. Just because you searched for pizza doesn’t mean you’ll only be getting food-related ads. Search engines know that there’s more to you than just several interests, and the more data it collects, the more it can get to know you better. Now imagine how beneficial that is in the business context.
The biggest perk of behavioral targeting is its ability to conquer the mobile landscape as well. This further enhances the potential of any marketing message to reach its target audience with more focus on interests rather than focusing on blind selling.