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What is Behavioral Targeting?

When you invest in advertising, an important component of any marketing campaign, you want it to perform well. If you attempted ad placement on your own before, you learned the hard way that you earn poor results by placing a wide-reaching advertisement.

You need to target your audience using market segments. You may already know about location targeting, also called demographic segmentation, or targeting by interest, but you need to use behavioral targeting.

Defining Behavioral Targeting

The term behavioral targeting refers to an advertising and marketing strategy using historical behaviors for consumer advertising personalization. Datasets form the basis of this historical information drawn from a multitude of resources including your website’s cookies, survey responses, your CRM, and many other sources.

Personas Represent the Consumers

A behavioral targeting marketing profile contains many components, but one overarches the others – the consumer or buyer persona. When using this type of targeting, you work it both ways. You create a persona linked to your company that represents your target audience.

Behavioral Advertising Reaches Appropriate Audiences

On the other side of marketing, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and the development of storage for big data such as data lakes have eradicated information silos enabling us to create profiles of each individual consumer using behavioral analysis. You set a cookie on your website to collect visitor information. This cookie records where each visitor lives, what pages they visited, how they accessed your site, the pages or sites visited before and after your website, etc.

Stored on their computer, but communicating with your servers, the cookie provides you with information about that consumer. When they re-visit your site, your server recognizes them and offers information based on their previous visit as well as behavioral advertising. A script and the cookie data on your server conduct behavioral analysis for you.

Building Your Database of Information

Your cookie data becomes one of the components of information in your database. Many other items go into this database to help you create a specific behavioral targeting profile that helps you target people actually interested in what you offer. These include:

  • Computer applications and mobile apps
  • Customer resource management CRM
  • Website cookies
  • Marketing systems
  • Third-party data providers

It saves you time, money, and effort to use behavioral targeting. Also, it makes you money because someone who already buys the type of thing you sell regularly makes a more likely purchaser than a person who has never bought your product nor any product like it.

An Everyday Example of Behavioral Advertising

Think of it this way. You would not typically see an advertisement for fantasy football leagues during daytime soap operas because the majority of soap opera viewers do not align with their target market. These viewers are usually female homemakers whose primary job duties consist of shopping for their families, housecleaning, home organization, etc.

You see fantasy football league advertisements during the Super Bowl or Monday Night Football broadcasts because those broadcasts get viewed by a majority target audience. This majority consists of males whose hobbies include viewing sports and playing computer or video games. On the other hand, you might see laundry soap commercials during soap operas since their viewers often perform daily household activities.

That is a simple example of behavioral targeting using psychographic segmentation. Psychographic segmentation is a methodology that uses the how and the why behind consumer decisions. It draws upon the conscious and subconscious information provided by consumers in surveys and polls to target ads.

For example, fantasy football leagues would fail if they targeted audiences that never play such a thing and have no desire to try it. Similarly, laundry soap would not sell many jugs of suds if it only targeted males who do not do the household shopping other daily household cleaning tasks.

Behavioral Information Works with Other Targeting Information

When you get ready to debut a new product, you need to determine that your minimum viable product (MVP) works to meet consumer needs. It needs to undergo product testing. Rather than offer it in a number of locations in limited quantities, you could offer it as a test product in a location that meets two important criteria:

  • A location with many existing customers
  • Existing customers that behave in such a way that requires the product

You would obtain this data from various sources. Register tapes show in which locations your existing products sell the best. Consumer website visits activate cookies that obtain location data revealing behavioral information about visitors who also purchase in those locations. You can test your MVP where people already purchase your products with existing customers who actually would want your new product. There is no reason to test it with any other audience because making money is the most important thing. You advertise to who buys.

Developing and Testing New Products

Behavioral targeting information can also help you develop new products. For example, you can collect cookie data on visitors who read your blogs. You then target using advertising an audience that purchases your products and reads your blogs with a survey that draws data on what relevant consumers need.

When you address an existing problem or pain point for your customers, you become their hero. When you offer a product or service they do not need or want, they ignore you. The latter costs you money since you developed marketing campaigns or products they did not desire. The former ensures you only create what relevant consumers – those already purchasing your products – want.

Marketing by Behaviors

This process helps you reach new customers, too. Your existing purchasing audience becomes a group of representatives for your products to others. They spread the word to others whom they know for whom your product fulfills a need. This word-of-mouth marketing by members of your existing customer base lets you expand your audience based upon those whose behaviors you targeted. They know those with similar behaviors, who would also want your product.

It all starts with learning the behaviors of your customers though. Your ads convert when you personalize the message. This personalization reduces your advertising spending and helps you spend more wisely. Consumers purchase more often from relevant ads. Using targeting helps your company to move more people through your advertising funnel.

Get to Know your Buyer Personas

By using behavioral targeting and marketing you get to reach relevant consumers individually and as a group. You show ads online to individuals based on cookie data while you place ads in publications serving the larger group of consumers that exhibit behaviors advantageous to purchasing your product. For example, a knitter visits your blog to read your new post on the season’s sweater designs. Your cookie data shows they read blogs there before and previously purchased knitting needles by clicking an ad on your page. Your website parses this information in nanoseconds and shows the blog visitor ads for your company’s new knitting yarn, which the customer purchases. Behavioral targeting success!

Your business exists to make money. This can improve sales by targeting only those who are more likely to actually make a purchase. Knowing their incomes, spending habits and demographics helps you understand what factors make up your buyer personas. You increase your return on investment by advertising to those who remain ready to purchase.

You benefit the consumer, too. Providing relevance encourages the consumer to reveal personal information so they can see ads that best suit them. By revealing exactly what they want, they provide you the opportunity to give it to them. When your ads do this, they purchase. When they do not, they mute you.

Let Bake More Pies Help

Your need for information must also benefit the person from whom you need the information. Creating this mutual benefit results in a positive relationship.

You can obtain relevant data that turns into personalized ads when you target behaviors. You Bake More Pies and sell more pies when you target your ads to individuals who love eating pies, not cakes or cupcakes.

If you feel daunted by the concept of conducting your marketing analysis, defining market segments, demographic segmentation, and psychographic segmentation, contact Bake More Pies. We can help you with every step!

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