If you have done any online shopping you may have noticed subsequent ads following your visit to a particular site. In my line of work, we call this product behavioral targeting. It coincides with behavioral segmentation. This concept is a current market trend that most all organizations have access to their target consumers. The behavioral targeting product we use is also known as online display ads. These ads are displayed on web pages to accompany the content on a given site. They are placed on the page to be noticed and are annoying… Right? Ten years ago I would have probably agreed with that comment. Companies would run ads in a geographic territory and deliver them to everyone. Most ads did not pertain to me and I would view them as annoying.
So what has changed? Why do I no longer find these display advertisements to be annoying? It comes down to a new marketing trend of targeting. Major companies break it down by “choosing the right audience”. The way that my company targets these display ads (and probably most others) is somewhat simple. We first come up with a defined geographic territory. Next we create a target demographic or ideal consumer. Finally, we deliver ads only to those individuals who meet the criteria. We are able to define that “ideal consumer” for clients based off of previous internet history and habits. I can use myself as an example. I was recently looking for new dress clothes for the upcomming summer. I had done some internet searches in regards to styles and brands that I could purchase. A couple of days later, I was back on the Internet reading a news story. Next to that story, there was an ad for a clothing company called Five Four Club. They specialize in mens clothing. The ad that was delivered to me was for business casual summer wear. Needless to say, I am now a consumer of their product. Without behavioral targeting I would have no clue this company existed. Because of this, I no longer am annoyed by these ads. I have the viewpoint of these ads being useful!