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The Aim of Behavioral Targeting

Why isn’t behavioral targeting a hit with advertisers? Behavioral targeting offers many potential benefits:

  • For advertisers, effective behavioral targeting leads to ad campaigns that are more likely to sway their audience.
  • For publishers, it can mean making more money from undersold or unsold ad inventory.
  • For the public, it means the ad-supported Internet might become more relevant.
  • The promise of behavioral targeting is huge, but overdue.
  • eMarketer estimates that US spending for behaviorally targeted online advertising will reach only $775 million in 2008."

The growth of behaviorally targeted online advertising has been delayed by incomplete development of technology, brand marketers that prefer to have their ads appear with relevant content and concerns over violating consumer privacy," says David Hallerman, senior analyst at eMarketer and author of the new report, Behavioral Targeting: Marketing Trends. "But a number of things are changing."

In fact, eMarketer projects that behaviorally targeted ad spending will reach $4.4 billion by the end of 2012.

Behavioral targeting segments the audience based on observed and measured data, such as the pages or sites users visit, content viewed, search queries entered, ads clicked, information share on social networks and products placed in online shopping carts. This data is combined with the time, length and frequency of visits.

"Recency counts a lot, too," says Mr. Hallerman, "data from two weeks ago is far less accurate at predicting interest than that from two days ago."

Behavioral targeting is getting increasing attention from advertisers, publishers, the public, politicians and mainstream media. For now, though, it contributes little to total US Internet ad spending—only 3% for 2008.

Read more - eMarketer

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