Great Expectations in Behavioral Targeting

  |  January 30, 2008   |  Comments

Search and creative departments will hop on the bandwagon this year. They just won't call it behavioral targeting.

It's 2008 and I'm in complete denial. I'm either still writing 2007 or already looking at plans for 2009. I guess there's no such thing as living in the moment in advertising. Since it's a new year, I'm providing my top expectations for the next 12 months.

  • You'll see less behavioral targeting. Yes, you read that right. It's not that the opportunities or vendors who offer behavioral targeting have decreased, but the effort involved in executing an effective campaign has dissuaded many publishers and advertisers. Let's face it, behavioral targeting is tricky and it's more complicated than contextual targeting. Therefore, many publishers and advertisers will opt for the simpler appeal of other types of targeting.

  • Search (specifically Google) will officially hop on the bandwagon. They just won't call it behavioral targeting. Google experimented a bit in this space in 2007, but you'd only know about it if you read the trades. The targeting included segmenting consumers based on a series of their searches. For example, if a search session included searches for Italian recipes and later Disney World, an ad may be served for Italian restaurants in Disney World. Although in theory it sounded interesting, the schizophrenic nature in which consumers search may prove to be so convoluted that any relevant advertising may prove to be a bigger challenge than anticipated.

  • It won't be called "behavioral targeting" anymore. Behavioral targeting by any other name would still be behavioral targeting, but not if you ask your vendors. Since it's inception, behavioral targeting has received a bad rap. Perhaps anything with the word "behavior" in it will conjure up fears of people being observed (and God forbid, without their consent). Therefore, "new solutions" will be available and they'll have fancy names that will make you wonder if you've lived through this before. (You have).

  • Behavioral targeting will finally get its day. Sure, we've all tried it as part of a buy or as a test, but in 2008 behavioral targeting may be the buy. As metrics and reporting continue to improve, advertisers will continue to introduce sophisticated measuring methods to evaluate performance, and whatever can be effectively measured will prevail. Although I believe the Internet can affect brand effectiveness, it's still hard to get an objective assessment, especially with brand tracking studies inundating the market. Therefore, traditional direct response metrics will play an even bigger role and behavioral targeting as a strategy will be easier to evaluate and optimize.

  • Creative departments will jump on the bandwagon and wonder how they missed out. Sure, creative departments have at least heard the term "behavioral targeting" before, but they probably haven't realized how dependent its success is on their work. In its practicality, behavioral targeting is an unspoken dialogue between an advertiser and a consumer and, therefore, relies on the right combination of messaging and placement. For creative people, this provides the opportunity to be flexible and prolific in their approach (and, of course, it's all measurable).

  • Behavioral targeting will be used for research. There's a tremendous amount of consumer information available as a result of behavioral targeting and publishers will begin to capitalize on this. For example, an automotive manufacturer can learn the top activities a prospect engages in before and after viewing its model pages. This information can be used for future planning and segmentation.

  • We'll agree to disagree. There's no ubiquities experience we can all draw upon, only a series of personal experiences, theories, and reflections we can act from. Therefore, there'll be an advertiser who used behavioral targeting with one creative execution and it performed wonderfully, and another who used multiple executions and will claim that's the holy grail. As long as there's progress, we're on the right track.

ClickZ Live Toronto Twitter Canada MD Kirstine Stewart to Keynote Toronto
ClickZ Live Toronto (May 14-16) is a new event addressing the rapidly changing landscape that digital marketers face. The agenda focuses on customer engagement and attaining maximum ROI through online marketing efforts across paid, owned & earned media. Register now and save!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Anna Papadopoulos

Based in New York, Anna Papadopoulos has held several digital media positions and has worked across many sectors including automotive, financial, pharmaceutical, and CPG.

An advocate for creative media thinking and an early digital pioneer, Anna has been a part of several industry firsts, including the first fully integrated campaign and podcast for Volvo and has been a ClickZ contributor since 2005. She began her career as a media negotiator for TBS Media Management, where she bought for media clients such as CVS and RadioShack. Anna earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from St. John's University in New York.

Follow her on Twitter @annapapadopoulo and on LinkedIn.

Anna's ideas and columns represent only her own opinion and not her company's.

COMMENTSCommenting policy

comments powered by Disqus

Get the ClickZ Marketing newsletter delivered to you. Subscribe today!

COMMENTS

UPCOMING EVENTS

Featured White Papers

ion Interactive Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper

Marketing Apps for Landing Pages White Paper
Marketing apps can elevate a formulaic landing page into a highly interactive user experience. Learn how to turn your static content into exciting marketing apps.

eMarketer: Redefining Mobile-Only Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop

Redefining 'Mobile-Only' Users: Millions Selectively Avoid the Desktop
A new breed of selective mobile-only consumers has emerged. What are the demos of these users and how and where can marketers reach them?

Jobs

    • Contact Center Professional
      Contact Center Professional (TCC: The Contact Center) - Hunt ValleyLooking to join a workforce that prides themselves on being routine and keeping...
    • Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador
      Recruitment and Team Building Ambassador (Agora Inc.) - BaltimoreAgora, www.agora-inc.com, continues to expand! In order to meet the needs of our...
    • Design and Publishing Specialist
      Design and Publishing Specialist (Bonner and Partners) - BaltimoreIf you’re a hungry self-starter, creative, organized and have an extreme...