The term Behavioral Advertising and Predictive Advertising has been making the rounds for quite a while. However, not everyone is clear about how miniscule pieces of information come together to form a pattern.
“Behavioral Advertising can be summed up as a technique used by advertisers, to display targeted ads to consumers, by collecting their browsing data and analyzing patterns over a period of time.”
Fig 1.1 : An ecosystem of Behavioral Targeting, and how it works.
How does It work?
Let us say you recently browsed through the handbag collection at Macy’s website. Shortly after, whichever website you visit, has Handbag ads served to you with attractive prices, and quick delivery options. Over the past years, Behavioral Advertising has rapidly replaced traditional targeting like demographic targeting etc;
Behavioral Advertising has hugely impacted the buying behavior of a consumer, by altering their self-perception. Let’s understand this by an example, you purchase some vegan products a few times a month, every month. Based on targeting algorithm, marketers label you as “Animal conscious” consumer and soon most of the ads you’ll see will be based on the Label they’ve created – “Animal Conscious”. Soon enough, you’ll start responding to this label and purchase more “animal friendly” products.
What’s cooking behind the scenes?
A recent survey has concluded that targeted advertisements based on user behavior converted 6.8% compared with non targeted ads at 2.8%.
- The targeting technology is usually accomplished by placing a cookie with a unique ID in the temporary storage of the consumer’s browser.
- From the collected data, a “virtual profile” is created for the consumer, based on which a targeting algorithm will be created which will target ads to the consumer once they return to the website.
Similar tracking is conducted across a broader network of websites, and is managed by Ad networks that operate across a wide network of partner websites.
Fig 1.2 : How do you choose a user by his behavior pattern
Are you a Marketer?
In this section, we will explore methods to improve your Behavioral targeting strategies.
Lets understand the small variables which combine together to create a successful targeting strategy :
- Location (city, country, region)
- Referring URL (where did the visitor come from)
- Campaign (which ad did the visitor click on)
- Device (iPhone, iPad, Android or Windows/Linux/Mac)
- Visitor frequency (new visitor, or returning one? Is it his/her 2nd visit or 5th)
- Search keywords (did the visitor arrive searching for ‘red bag’ or ‘christmas specials’)
Below are the steps to make Behavioral Targeting for you.
Step 1 : Create a centralized marketing database
To make your Behavioral Targeting effective, you’ll have to create a marketing database which is capable of recording actions and interactions of your target customers through various channels. This will involve tracking their behavior pattern through site visits, mobile, email links & banner ads displayed. You’ll also have to maintain different segments that exist beyond your audience pool ranging from location to age, to demographics.
Step 2 : Segment Effectively
Segmenting your consumers is a vital process for you as a marketer, because it will be the deciding factor for your next steps of interaction with this consumer. Based on their browsing history in general, group your contacts gathered in your data pool according to key characteristics defined by your company.
For example, if you have a group of returning customer who keeps viewing your product videos but still hasn’t made a purchase – you can send them incentivized message that will interest them to sign-up for your services.
Step 3 : Constant testing for Improvements
You may know your business very well, but you’ll have to keep in mind that Advertising is a dynamic space, and your knowledge may get redundant at any point unless you keep updating your database and your targeting algorithms.
Research has shown that Behavioral Targeting is capable of doubling your ad’s effectiveness, and the conversion rates are also quite high.
Increase your Conversion rates by Behavioral Targeting
There are various ways in which Behavior Targeting can help you increase your conversion by different methods of Marketing which helps you understand your consumer’s behavior & turn it into actionable insights.
Let’s take an example of an e-commerce website which sells both clothes, bags and shoes. Some of your visitors will be more interested to purchase shoes, and some will be interested in clothes. When they visit your homepage and if you show them all the offers, chances are this conversion will not happen. However, if you segment this data of their visits and present them with relevant recommendations it will accelerate your conversion.
Retargeting is a form of advertising that shows ads to your previous visitors with the idea to drive them to your website again. Personalizing this experience will yield better conversion rates, so how will you do it?
You can personalize your retargeting ads based on:
– The last URL your visitors viewed
– Location of your consumers to promote local events etc.
– Season Based targeting, for example Christmas or New Year’s eve etc.
- Targeted Email Marketing Campaigns
If you are looking for a high conversion rate, targeted email campaigns can be a great idea. You can design your campaigns based on your target customer’s geo-location, preferences etc.
Google Analytics & Behavioral Advertising
The new Google Analytics targeting feature has the potential to massively hike up your conversion rates for your business. The recent announcement of Google with a new demographics and behavior report, is the most exciting feature addition and it can impact your conversions vastly.
You can make the most of it by these simple steps :
- Click on the Behavior Flow tab in Google Analytics, and you will see a flowchart showing the top pages that users land on when they enter your site, and which pages they go to from there.
- The latest addition to your analytics dashboard is under the audience reports. Most of you will notice a new segment called ‘Interests.’ With this information, you can see a report of your users age, interest categories, and if they’re in-market. You’ll need to enable this reporting feature by adding a new tracking code, but the benefits of delivering more relevant content to your visitors will lead to a better experience.
Fig 1.4 : Google Analytics new feature ‘interests’.
This feature will not only help you understand your target audience better but also by understanding their interest patterns you can segment them better to target them correctly.
Behavioral Targeting and Social Media
Behavioral targeting has become one of the most effective tools for social media marketers, have at their disposal to reach beyond their current followers. All digital platforms have some method of behavioral targeting within their admin panels and analytics reports. Utilizing the information gathered there can help you not only learn your audience, but learn who they are, what they care about, and how to best interact with them.
Facebook expert Jon Loomer explains how Facebook retrieves all its user personal information through likes, shares and comments. However, what Facebook cannot get from users it gathers through huge partnership enterprises.
Twitter targeting lets advertisers to focus on users based more on device usage, carrier, and WiFi users. In this case, advertisers can target their ads to only Verizon or Sprint mobile users or test two ads by running one ad targeting Android devices and one targeting iOS devices to see which platform generates more engagements and conversions.
– LinkedIn Sponsored Ads
By far the most expensive social media targeting, these sponsored updates come at a steep price but are very effective in conversions.
Snapchat is also in the news to launch its own Behavioral Targeting Algorithm. Over the past year Snapchat has been the most popular form of social media.
We have immense volume of data to target our customers better and decide well in advance to which kind of content we can serve them with. With the advent of new choices growing exceedingly – traditional targeting has become completely redundant.
Personalised data, content and information targeted to correctly segmented group of consumers can lead to higher rates of conversion & sales.
If you’d like to know more about how to use data to your benefit and achieve greater results in your business you can write to us at [email protected]