Behavioral Targeting Understanding

Behavioral Targeting Understanding

What is behavioral targeting?

Behavioral targeting is a technique used in online advertising and publishing, where data from
visitor browsing habits (e.g., search terms, sites visited, purchases) is used to display relevant
ads and offers and improve campaign effectiveness.

Behavioral targeting allows advertisers and publishers to target customers based on their
behaviors across different websites. For example, if someone browses Amazon for cooking
knives without making a purchase, Amazon’s advertising network can show this visitor more ads
for knives on other websites, increasing the eventual likelihood of a purchase.

Why is behavioral targeting important?

Before web-tracking technology made behavioral targeting possible, digital advertisers relied
on contextual targeting, where ads would appear based on a user’s related keywords and/or
relevant topics (e.g., advertising kitchen knives on a cooking blog). And while contextual
targeting still has its place, conversion guard has identified that behavioral targeting offers several powerful advantages, including
tailored advertising and retargeting.

Tailored advertising

When a seller advertises to a prospect based on his or her activity across the internet, the
advertising is more likely to be relevant (and therefore lead to a conversion).

Not only does this improve sales for the advertiser, but studies find that it actually makes for a
better consumer experience—assuming the advertising doesn’t feel like an invasion of privacy.

For example, an ad that reads, “Getting excited for your wedding next summer?” might hurt
sales if people find it overly personalized (customers might feel that someone they don’t know
is learning private details they shouldn’t have access to).


Retargeting is when an advertiser shows ads multiple times across different websites (as in the
‘kitchen knives’ example above) based on pages or websites people have visited before.
Retargeting is effective because it often takes multiple brand exposures before someone buys.

Read more: the Rule of Seven is an old marketing principle that estimates the number of times
a prospective customer needs to see an ad before they buy. It all depends on context, but the
rule generally expresses that it takes 6-8 exposures to a product (known as ‘impressions’ in
ad-speak) to seal the deal. Repeated exposure of a brand builds familiarity, familiarity builds
trust, and trust drives conversions.

Target your ideal customers

Just as website personalization can go wrong (e.g., Facebook reminds you how confident you
were that your favorite candidate would win an election last year), there are a lot of ways to get
behavioral targeting wrong in your advertising.

One of the biggest mistakes companies make is to try to target too many segments. After all,
there are mountains of data to choose from, and it’s tempting to use it all—but you’re better off
starting small and narrowing your focus on those who would get the most value from your
products or services. These people are your ideal customers, and here’s how to identify them.

If you treat your ideal customers right, they’ll keep coming back. Here’s how to figure out who
they are so you can create an advertising experience that makes them want to buy.

Step 1: build user personas

User personas are semi-fictional customer profiles based on demographic
and psychographic data from people who already use your website and buy your products. A
simple persona will answer the following:

1. Who are your customers?
2. What is their primary goal?
3. What is keeping them from getting it?

You can use two of conversion guards methods to collect this info:

• On-page surveys article about user personas
• Customer interviews

Step 2: think in terms of the Pareto principle

In sales and marketing, the Pareto principle implies that roughly 20% of your customers are
responsible for 80% of your sales. If your behavioral targeting focuses on that 20%, you can
win more of them over—and they’ll form a solid customer base.

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