Online Marketing Trend: Behavioral Targeting

Most of the people are aware about Google's Contextual targeting and its success but less is known about as successful and much controv...

Most of the people are aware about Google's Contextual targeting and its success but less is known about as successful and much controversial Behavioral Targeting which is how major ad networks like Google owned Doubleclick and large publishing networks like Yahoo are successfully targeting visitors with their display ads. Though it has been around for a while the recently released study from MarketingSherpa shows Behavioral Targeting is finally making inroads generating next best results in terms of Return on Investment to contextual advertising.
Behavioral targeting uses information collected on an individual's web-browsing behavior, such as the pages they have visited or the searches they have made (which is found using tracking cookies) to select which advertisements to display to that individual.
There are primarily three kinds of Behavioral Targeting
1. Based on website/web page visited.
This is how ad networks do Behavioral Targeting in this case behavioral segments are developed by aggregating users who have gone to specific web sites that have very targeted content. For example users who frequent travel websites like Yatra or MakeMyTrip.com would become part of the “Travel Shoppers” segment. Then, these users are re-targeted when they are found on other more general content type sites.
2. Based on keyword searched or content that was read.
This type of Behavioral Targeting develops behavioral segments by finding users who have searched for your product using specific keywords or have read content with specific keywords in it.These keywords will be similar to the keywords you use for your search campaigns and will net similar increases in performance for a campaign.
For example, if a user was reading an article about interest rates going up, the Behavioral Targeting technology could target the top five keywords that surround the key concept of that page.
3. Based on past visitors to your website.
This is a fairly common type of Behavioral Targeting used by high traffic publishers like Yahoo who creates behavioral segments of users who have visited the web site these are also called onsite behavioral targeting systems. Self-learning onsite behavioral targeting systems will monitor visitor response to site content and learn what is most likely pattern to generate a desired conversion.

Problem
Many online users & advocacy groups are concerned about privacy issues around doing this type of targeting which is being tackled by keeping all information non-personally identifiable or to use opt-in and permission from end-users for doing these marketing activities. Even though this is an old term but with improved analytics these days it is giving great ROI's but as always there are pro views and counter views but it is definitely a trend to watch out for but it still has to counter growing privacy concerns.
Related Reads:
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Analysis of Internet Advertising in India
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