Behavioral targeting

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Behavioral targeting

What is behavioral targeting?

Behavioral targeting is all about sending targeted messages to your customers and prospects on the basis of the way in which they interact with your business. This marketing approach makes use of web user information to strengthen advertising campaigns. To carry out behavioral targeting, you need to gather data regarding the potential customer’s online browsing and shopping behaviors from a wide range of sources.

This data can help you frame ads that have greater relevance to a particular user’s habits and interests, which can increase your CTRs (click-through rates) and conversions substantially.

The main objective of behavioral targeting is to deliver advertising messages to the behavioral target markets that have demonstrated the highest level of interest in them. The process of behavioral targeting involves compiling web searches, purchase histories, frequently visited websites, and other information to build a comprehensive user profile, allowing you to see what your audience wants, avoids, and purchases. Through the use of these data points, organizations can craft ads that align with the individual consumer’s trackable preferences and needs, without conveying messages the viewer would consider unappealing or irrelevant.

There are various sources of data that you can use to personalize your marketing activities. Some of these include Website engagement (what are people looking at and clicking on when they use your site?), campaign engagement (which emails do people tend to open and click?), 

purchase behavior (what items did someone purchase, add to their cart, or even look at?),

app engagement (what actions are users taking or not taking when they use your app?).

Why is behavioral targeting important?

Behavioral targeting involves creating a comprehensive user profile and then making use of this profile to deliver more relevant content with better timing. Behavioral targeting is important because it lowers the possibility of sending irrelevant ads, increases the odds of your ads resonating and striking a chord with your audience, and even helps you earn more clicks and conversions.

What are the benefits of behavioral targeting?

Behavioral targeting brings several benefits to the table - both for advertisers as well as consumers. 

Benefits of behavioral targeting for advertisers

  • Improved engagement - Behavioral targeting allows advertisers to create content that would actually interest their target audience and even lets them push this content at times when the audience would interact with it. This helps them increase the levels of engagement that their ad campaigns receive.
  • Reduces wasted ad spend - When you use behavioral targeting, you’re showing your audience ads for things that they have very clearly displayed interest in, which means that they are more likely to lead to conversions, and your ad spend would not be wasted to the extent that it would be without behavioral targeting.
  • Improves your bottom line - Behavioral targeting brings higher conversion rates than conventional ads, which means that they bring you a better ROI, thus improving your bottom line.

Benefits of behavioral targeting for consumers

  • Improved ad experience - As much as customers don’t like giving away their personal information, they feel much worse about getting ads that are completely irrelevant to them. Personalizing the ads shows them things that they would actually be interested in, thus creating a better experience for your customers.
  • Learning about new products - Behavioral targeting can allow you to show your customers products that are closely tied to the products that they were already looking at, thus allowing them to discover new products that they could be interested in.

How does behavioral targeting work?

Behavioral targeting involves gathering information about a visitor and delivering relevant ads that match this specific person’s profile. The collection of data can be carried out in a wide range of ways. A data management platform (DMP) is generally used to aggregate the behavioral data collected about the site’s visitors. These DMPs collect, store, and organize the information for advertisers. 

The data that you use for behavioral targeting can be pulled from a variety of sources. Some of these sources are websites, mobile apps, CRM systems, and other marketing automation systems. 

The data collected for behavioral targeting includes:

  • User login information (for registered users)
  • IP address and geolocation
  • Pages (or products) viewed on the site
  • Duration of the session
  • Clicks
  • The recency of their visit
  • Interaction with elements on the site or webpage
  • Prior purchases
  • Demographics
  • Content read
  • Sections of the page regularly visited by a user
  • Searches within the site
  • Websites the users have visited

There are three main steps involved in the behavioral targeting process:

Step 1: Collecting and analyzing data

There are several sources from which data could be collected, but the most common way to acquire this data is through the use of tracking pixels (also known as third-party cookies). After that, the data is stored in a DMP or other AdTech platform like a DSP. The more data that is available, the higher the accuracy of your behavioral targeting algorithm. You would then analyze this data and use it to create user segments.

Step 2: Segmenting your users

You would now have to cluster your users into segments based on their behavior. These segments could involve people who have searched for a certain type of product multiple times, people who keep returning to the same product page, etc.

Step 3: Making use of the data

Now is when you create and implement ad campaigns that cater to a very specific user segment. This makes the advertisements more relevant for those user groups and increases your odds of getting conversions and responses.

Other than using data collected by DMPs and other kinds of AdTech platforms, you can collect data for behavioral targeting by using data pulled from registered users’ profiles.

The registered users are users that have made purchases in an online store. Those sales, in addition to the user’s site-navigation history, are usually stored and analyzed to make targeted offers the next time the user comes online.

It is possible to target unregistered users through the use of cookie information saved on the customer’s browser. When the user visits the site again, unless the cookie was deleted by the user, it ends up getting sent to the web server, which makes it possible to target the user.

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