Behavioral Targeting Drives Automotive

  |  December 6, 2006   |  Comments

Lack of standardization, best practices, and methodologies make behavioral targeting confusing for media buyers.

Behavioral targeting was the buzz at this year's J.D. Power Internet Automotive Roundtable in Las Vegas. This shouldn't come as a surprise, since the automotive sector has been one of the top interactive spenders and first to embrace new technology. What's surprising is the amount of confusion that still lies around the term "behavioral targeting."

The consensus is that behavioral targeting is a good thing. It's even begun to enter the vocabularies of dealer associations and dealers, which demonstrates its magnitude. Dennis Galbraith, senior director of Internet studies and marketing solutions at J.D. Power and Associates, was even asked about it during his opening speech. He encouraged advertisers to consider behavioral targeting as they develop their 2007 campaigns.

Yet, several issues arose during the Behavioral Targeting and the Automotive Shopper roundtable. I sat on the panel with Rory O'Connor, VP media director of Beyond Interactive (representing Volkswagen and Audi); David Harris, e-business and CRM manager of Suzuki Motor Corp.; and Mitch Lowe, CEO of Jumpstart Automotive Media, who moderated the panel. The three main issues revolved around lack of standardization, best practices, and methodologies.

Surprisingly, privacy concerns, which dominate most behavioral targeting discussions, weren't mentioned, especially since the panel took place the day after the Center for Digital Democracy (CDD) and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group (US PIRG) submitted their request to the FTC for the investigation of online ad practices that "threaten consumer privacy."

The automotive industry doesn't tend to be driven by fear, especially when the fear is around a topic few understand. However, we did discuss the lack of development around behavioral targeting since its inception. The number of publishers offering it has certainly grown, but so has the confusion about what they're actually offering. So, let's review the basics.

Behavioral targeting is an advertising methodology in which an advertiser's message is shown to consumers based on previous actions they've taken, particularly the sites they've visited and the actions they've taken on these sites. There are several behavioral targeting products on the market for reaching automotive intenders. The most popular ones are:

  • Focused targeting against an auto intender: Targeting a consumer who has visited a specific make, model, or category.

  • General targeting against an auto intender: Targeting a consumer who has visited an auto site or an auto section (not specific to any model).

  • Retargeting or remessaging: Serving ads to consumers who have visited an advertiser's site but left before completing a specific action.

  • Keyword targeting: Serving ads to consumers who have searched for a specific word or term.

  • Adware: Displaying ads in a software interface based on information it collects from the user's browsing patterns. This targeting, a form of spyware, has been met with lots of controversy.

The starting point for publishers and marketers is to understand the form of behavioral targeting being offered. Next, you must understand the tracking mechanisms to be set up to measure a campaign's objectives. And finally, you must develop best practices so advertisers aren't starting from zero each time.

We also discussed the role of each partner -- publisher, agency, and marketer. The consensus is everyone is responsible for a successful campaign. However, the publishers who own, control, and sell the data must make themselves accountable for not only streamlining the buying process but also assisting with the implementation and tracking. This goes beyond just putting banners on a site. After years of offering behavioral targeting, most sites are still hard pressed to tell advertisers what works best, even at the simplest level of frequency.

Finally, we looked into our crystal balls. We're hoping customization will play a bigger role in 2007. An overseas delivery program, for example, should target consumers who not only visited a certain make and model page but also demonstrated an interest in traveling to a certain region. Customization is the next step in marrying the theoretical benefits of behavioral targeting to the pragmatic ones.

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...