Have you been hearing a lot about behavioral targeting lately? If so, you might want to get the inside scoop on what it is and how it works.
Essentially, behavioral targeting is a way for marketers to serve relevant ads to people surfing the web. As an example, if you’re in the market for a convertible, you may have visited AutoTrader.com or clicked another website’s banner ad for a Chrysler Sebring Convertible.
What happened next?
Well, ads for convertibles started to crop up when you visited ESPN.com, Time.com or even blogs that you read.
That’s behavioral targeting. It’s a technique where marketers track statistical data about websites people visit so that they can serve up ads that are more relevant to them.
(By the way, you can disable this from happening simply by deleting your cookies.)
Now, before you get all up-in-arms about privacy issues, there are a few things you should know. For starters, the data is statistical data, not private data. In other words, the data that is tracked is simply ones and zeros on a massive database, not “John Smith at 123 Ivy Street did a search for Viagra.”
Secondly, it’s important to remember that the direct mail industry has been using this technique for 50 years. When you receive a direct mail letter or a catalog or a postcard from a local business, you’re receiving it because someone in the direct response industry has tracked your purchasing behaviors.
In similar fashion, people in the digital marketing industry can track your online behavior. The result, in my opinion, is that this process actually improves your experience on the web because it makes it more relevant.
There are people who will disagree with me on that, of course.
If you’d like to take a deeper dive into behavioral targeting, you can watch the 60 Second Video below. It’s packed with additional tips and information about the process.
And, by the way, when you click the video below, you can rest assured that we aren’t tracking your viewing habits.
We would if we could. But we’re not.
Okay, that’s not entirely accurate. YouTube tracks your viewing habits and we do check those out occasionally. But all we know is your geographic data and that’s pretty much it.
And your address. We know that.
And your phone number.
And your shoe size.
Enjoy the video.