Behavioral targeting is among the latest and most widely-accepted forms of online display advertising employed by online marketers.  Where other forms of online display ads simply provide content related to the host site or the presumed visiting audience, behavioral targeting actually defines and categorizes web users, giving marketers a much clearer picture of online prospects.  Though not without its critics, behavioral targeting is without question a step into the future of online–and possibly offline–marketing.

When marketers and their web research departments discovered that web browser cookies could be used to, in a sense, “track” consumer behavior, it opened up a Pandora’s Box of marketing opportunities–and concerns.  When a web user visits a marketer’s site, that site can leave a cookie on the user’s browser.  That cookie has specially-programmed code that allows it to identify and compile relevant web usage and web activity, and then reports it all back to the advertiser for analysis.  That information is then used to serve advertising back to the original web user based on the user’s activities, interests, and behavior.  The result is advertising tailored much more to the online consumer, and much less to the website or medium.

This kind of more personalized advertising is more expensive, but yields a much more qualified prospect, netting the marketer conversion rates that are much higher.  Critics of behavioral targeting raise concerns about privacy, though as of now browser cookies accumulate only browsing data–not direct demographic information–and that data should be anonymous, since cookies do not know who is actually using the computer.  Nonetheless, the FTC has put in place specific guidelines related to the use of behavioral targeting.

By providing more refined data and better targeting of online prospects, behavioral marketing allows advertisers to sell directly to the consumer, instead of around the consumer.  The advertising is more customized to the interests and behavior of the user, and should generate more leads with less waste.  SmartLink can help you execute your behavioral targeting campaign, and aim your marketing focus with precision, instead of with a shotgun.  Call SmartLink today at (561) 688-8155.