What is Behavioral Targeting? Who needs it?
Why Do Marketers feel The Need Of Behavioral Targeting?
For as long as marketing has come into existence, marketers are looking for ways to reach out to as many people as possible and expand their brand awareness paradigm for an audience as big as possible. While the traditional marketing model relied mostly on client-attraction methods to reach out to clients, in this era of digitization, marketing and advertising have become a lot more sophisticated with smarter and innovative marketing tools and techniques. One of these game-changers is Behavioral targeting. In this article, we will see what behavioral targeting is?, how does it work? and how can you, as a brand, benefit from behavioral targeting?
Behavioral Targeting – Defined
Also known as online behavioral advertising, Behavioral targeting is a marketing technique that allows marketers to observe the browsing pattern of the audience and show them ads that are the most relevant to their search history. In other words, we can describe behavioral targeting as a marketing process that delivers an advertising message to the most interested audience using their browsing data.
The data through which behaviorally targeted ads reach out to their audience is, but not limited to:
- Web browsing history
- Search history
- Last visit time
- Time spent browsing a particular website
- Button and ad clicks
- Abandoning shopping carts, and many more.
All these parameters are combined together to form a single user profile and these profiles help marketers to understand their audience’s preferences. These profiles give marketers information about:
- Which factors are preferable for the audience?
- What does the audience tend to avoid?
- What are the specific passions and preferences of the audience?
- What kind of content does the audience find the most attractive and appealing?
Getting facts about their preferences to help marketers to reach the audience more productively and it increases the probability of converting potential buyers into customers.
How Does Behavioral Targeting Work?
To get a better understanding of behavioral targeting, let’s see how it works. Let’s assume a scenario where a user browses the internet for a specific model of a bicycle. They read reviews, compare prices and check some bicycle designs of different models and compares them. If a marketer gathers this data of their browsing pattern and shows them ads of bicycles with similar features, it would benefit the user in deciding what to buy in a better way, as well as, it will help marketer reach out to the most interested audience to sell their product to.
Common Myths And Confusions Around Behavioral Retargeting
Now that we have an idea of what behavioral targeting is, let’s have a look at what behavioral targeting is Not. The purpose is to avoid and debunk some of the most famous myths and misconceptions related to behavioral targeting.
The process of behavioral targeting is also called online behavioral advertising however, these two terms are slightly different from one another. Online behavioral advertising is a process of adapting behavioral marketing at some phases of advertising. Whereas behavioral targeting is the actual process that serves as a fundamental process for this kind of advertising.
A famous misconception is mixing retargeting with behavioral targeting. The scope of data used in each of these campaigns is what makes these two entirely different from one another. In retargeting, the focus is on the audience that has interacted with a brand’s website in any way, whereas in behavioral targeting, a broader data set is used in conjunction with third-party or first-party data to reach the potential buyer.
Another common mistake is mixing up behavioral targeting with contextual targeting. The difference between the two terms lies in the names of each one. Behavioral targeting uses the behavior pattern of users to help marketers increase their brand awareness to the most interested users whereas contextual targeting is a process of placing ads according to the content of the website. It does not involve user behavioral statistics and facts and only places ads in the context of website content.
Types Of Behavioral Targeting
Since the process of behavioral targeting involves huge datasets to gather statistics about user’s behavior, experts suggest that it should be divided into two main types to make better use of the techniques involved in the process.
Onsite Behavioral Targeting
As the name suggests, the onsite behavioral targeting technique takes place on the brand’s website. The statistics of user browsing the website is taken from the data collected from the entire website. It includes data such as user’s interaction with ads, their shopping behavior, the pattern of their button clicks, and many such parameters. This technique contributes a lot to the evaluation and development of the overall user’s experience of browsing a brand’s site. It provides important insights like areas of improvement, best selling products, and other such statistics. This data is mined using different algorithms and it helps marketers to know what ads should be displayed to what kind of audience.
Network Behavioral Targeting
Network behavioral targeting is a type of targeting that involves using data to be collected across various platforms across the internet. This data can be in the form of device identification, IP address or IDs provided by data management platforms. The personal details of users like names, addresses, telephone numbers, etc. are usually not included in this data. For more frequent users of a specific website, an algorithm will indicate the age, gender or specific interests to associate with a dataset. For example, a person searching for the best travel destinations for senior female citizens would benefit a website designed for traveling options for female citizens, if they accumulate this search data from across the web and route their ads to the user.
How Can I Benefit From Behavioral Targeting?
Now that you know the benefits of behavioral targeting, here’s how you can make the most of your behavioral targeting practices and increase your brand awareness for the right audience.
- Be crystal clear about your goals and advertising strategies.
- Evaluate and understand your audience. See what they are looking for and what they tend to avoid. This way you can be sure to route your best and the most relevant products to them.
- Adopt tools to gather data from all available sources like emails, site browsing, social media, and CRM. This, used with behavioral targeting, is sure to take your brand awareness to the next level.