Onsite Behavioral Targeting

When leveraged correctly, onsite behavioral targeting can greatly benefit an organization’s online marketing program by allowing them to reach visitors in a more effective manner. Due to the growth of this industry, I’d like to take this opportunity to answer some of the most frequently asked questions about behavioral targeting including:

What is Behavioral Targeting?

Behavioral targeting is a largely automated means of creating a more personalized web site experience by observing the visitor’s onsite behavior and then leveraging that data to target them with online creative and offers that are most relevant to them. The theory is that by presenting each individual user with a personalized optimal experience, it will increase their likelihood of taking the desired action such as making a purchase, signing up for a free trial service or perhaps filling out a contact form.

How Does Behavior Targeting Differ from A/B and Multivariable Experimentation?

The end goal of both experimentation and behavioral targeting is to present visitors with the most effective user experience in the hope of increasing the likelihood of them performing a desired action. However, there are a number of differences between the approaches that are important to understand.

Behavioral Targeting


When is it Most Appropriate to Use Behavioral Targeting?

Onsite behavioral targeting is most effective for organizations that looking for a largely automated way to optimize a large portion of their online user’s experience. But equally important, they have to have sufficient size / scale to provide a return on the required investment to in order to leverage behavioral targeting software.

With the growth of the Behavior Advertising industry, it is important for organizations to carefully consider whether it is an appropriate tactics for them. According to eMarketer’s (www.emarketer.com) projections in the article Behavioral Targeting: Advertising Gets Personal by 2011, behavioral targeting online advertising spending will increase to $3.8 billion.

What are the Rewards and Challenges of Behavioral Marketing?

The largest reward of behavioral targeting is the ability to reach a high level of optimization at an individual user-level in a manner that involves minimal human interaction on a day-to-day basis.

The most common challenge to implementing a behavioral targeting program is attaining budget for the large upfront costs for the software and the magnitude of implementation that is required. However, over time the return on investment is likely to improve with the increased effectiveness of creative and offers.

Another challenge to consider is that although the overall process of behavioral targeting itself is highly automated, it does require human intervention to update creative, offers, and modify the underlying business rules that guide the optimization effort. For example, when entering the holiday season, you may need to update the creative, offers, and the underlying business rules for season and then update yet again promptly after the season is over.

Privacy concerns may also be another challenge to receiving approval from your organization to implement behavioral targeting since the process is often misunderstood. However, in most cases this can be overcome by being able to demonstrate to decision-makers how the data is collected in an anonymous fashion that does not interfere with the visitors personal rights and providing a clear option for visitors that wish to opt out of the behavioral targeting.

What are the Most Popular Behavioral Targeting Tools?

Kefta, TouchClarity and X +1 are some of the leading behavior targeting marketing tools. In selecting a tool it is critical to consider how that tool will integrate with your other online marketing tools and web analytics solution so that you are able to look at the big picture as opposed to individual silos of data from each of your tools.

Overall behavioral targeting can be a great way to create a more personalized experience for your visitor, but it is important to consider if it is appropriate for your organization based the size /scale of your website vs. the potential return on investment, your availability of financial and human resources to manage the process and the ability to integrate with your other online marketing initiatives currently in use.



By Bill Bruno
About the Author:

Bill Bruno is the CEO - North America, Ebiquity.

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