Behavioral targeting is changing the way we engage online, and digital marketers must adjust to these changes to better reach customers. Just a few years ago, targeted ads on Facebook were unheard of. Today, Facebook has evolved to become the leader in targeting and monetizing ads. However, a recent survey from Razorfish, reported by Smart Insights, showed that 76 percent of businesses don't use behavioral data at all. If you're one of them, consider this: By ignoring the power of behavioral targeting, you could be missing out on significant revenue captured by expanding and solidifying your customer base.
Defining Behavioral Targeting
Before the digital age, marketers sought customer demographic data such as gender, age and geography. But today, marketers have found this information limited and they now demand a more comprehensive, psychographic profile of customers.
Behavioral targeting helps to fill that gap by providing data segmentation based on customer behaviors. This gives marketers the ability to organize customers based on variables and preferences related to their previous online behaviors. Marketers can leverage this data and establish specific action steps for different customers after they exhibit certain behaviors. Essentially, it enables marketers to build digital dossiers on potential customers to reach them more effectively.
Data Detectives: Building Your Customer Profile
Many consumers say that being "mined for data" feels a little too much like Big Brother is watching them. It should be noted that the typical data gathered does not include consumer names, addresses, email addresses or phone numbers. The intent is to track consumers over time anonymously, to build up rich profiles of their interests and shopping activities. This includes the number of visits they have made to your online store, what products they have bought or looked at more than once, which merchandise categories they've visited the most, and whether or not they've registered as members of your site.
Marketers partner with websites to tag consumers with a unique identifier that's used to aggregate their web activity. This can be done with cookies, web beacons, Flash cookies or other code. Using these tools, marketers can collect, tag and organize visitor data and serve appropriate ads to these consumers.
Next Steps: What to Do With All That Data
Once you've built a profile of your customer and have a good idea of their online behavior and preferences, how can you convert that into engagement? Analyze the data, decide which phase of the customer journey they're in, and respond accordingly. The Behavioral Targeting Blog offers a case study on the popular jeans brand Levis. Upon arriving at the site, shoppers are offered free shipping if they agree to enter their email address. Levi's gathers customer data such as preferred fit styles, colors and sizes, and uses it to email personalized offers to shoppers. Using this method, Levi's was able to successfully launch several new styles, increasing sales revenue.
Behavioral targeting helps you increase the number of click-throughs, generate more conversions and ensure that you're presenting the right content at the right time. It delivers the tools you need to better understand the intent of your prospects, so you can take appropriate action and turn them into customers.