by Danny Meadows-Klue
The promise of behavioural targeting is to create more relevant messaging to consumers, increasing the media efficiency of campaigns, and giving a better deal to advertisers.
The first behavioural advertising technologies were deployed back in 2000, but it wasn’t until 2006 that behavioural targeting really established itself as a mainstream tool in north America and Western Europe.
There are many methodologies and processes, but the result is always the same. Find a consumer with a known interest in a certain type of product or service and send them messages that are relevant using graphical advertising and other online formats. The scope of the message is in the hands of the advertiser, and the data about the consumer can be gathered in many ways, but the result is the same: a big uplift in advertising effectiveness.
Yahoo was a pioneer of behavioural targeting and when they first started exploring how consumers buy products, they quickly discovered smart ways to apply the targeting technology. For example, someone interested in mortgages and home loans may be ‘in market’ for the products for many weeks (45 days was the average in one of their studies) whereas for a decision about a car the time period is much shorter. For a simple purchase like flowers for a gift it may be no more than two days, and digitally savvy media planners can use these insights to build up targeting models that really harness the full potential of behavioural tools and technologies.
Behavioural targeting may not automatically be the right solution for a brand and marketers will need to evaluate the quality and effectiveness of the behavioural profiles available in the market. Here at Digital we began working on simple guidelines for marketing teams in 2004 and these are available from our team.
But does behavioural targeting work for FMCG (CPG) firms? The answer is both ‘yes’ and ‘no’ because it relies on a relevant profile being identified. For financial services it can be easy to develop because a prospective customer might search for the terms or view content about those types of financial products.
For FMCG brands it may appear impossible to do this, but this is where traditional demographics and lifestyle insights can play a part. For example, if a drinks brand knows there is a strong relationship between its consumers and a sport such as football, then media planners can harness behavioural profiles that are built on ‘football’ and be confident of a good result.
The relationship may take more work to figure out, but it’s a powerful way to ensure the brands message both reaches the right customers and avoids falling into the lower grade ‘run of site’ media buys that would mean high wastage and some audiences completely outside the target market seeing the material.
For more tips on media planning and the use of internet advertising targeting, see the Digital Media Planning Academy