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Posts Tagged ‘Behavioral Targeting’

A Strong Appetite for Behavioral Search Targeting

Posted by Mort Greenberg on May 16, 2008

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By Kevin Lee, The ClickZ Network,

Demographic and behavioral targeting were sufficiently interesting to marketers that advertisers, on average, would pay 11 percent more for both behavioral and demographic targeting, according to the “2007 SEMPO State of the Market Survey.” The survey also finds that 57 percent of online advertisers polled were willing to spend more on demographic targeting, such as age and gender. While the survey doesn’t overtly specify that the primary targeted behavior was prior search (so-called search retargeting), the questions likely had respondents referring to that practice.

This is great news for search engines willing to provide advertising that allows marketers to behaviorally target consumers through graphical or textual ad units.

Despite talk of some kind of Yahoo/Google strategic alliance, Google isn’t nearly as pro search retargeting as Yahoo and Microsoft are. And if Yahoo were to reduce or eliminate its direct sales of PPC (define) search advertising, it would weaken its ability to sell behaviorally targeted ads on its own search traffic. Ironic, isn’t it?

While advertiser interest in behavioral targeting is very strong, there currently isn’t a ton of inventory available to retarget searchers. This results in the actual spending against behavioral search inventory being quite low. Forty percent of survey respondents said they aren’t currently targeting or retargeting searchers but to do so in the next 12 months. Current retargeting options are driven primarily by third-party ad networks that retarget organic visitors, paid search visitors, and often general site visitors.

I’m excited to see what kinds of behavioral search targeting options show up this year (and next), in part because the engines’ behavioral search options will deliver far more scale than we can currently deliver using cookie targeting within third-party ad networks.

Also fascinating is a little-discussed facet of behavioral search targeting with graphical or textual ads within traditional banner inventory: competitive targeting. This would be where we advertisers are given opportunities to target users who are searching for our competitors (brands, names, or sites) — not within the SERP (define), but within textual or graphical ads served on Web pages or within applications such as messaging apps and widgets. This competitive retargeting of search behavior opens up a whole new area of advertising, providing a way to get messages in front of in-market consumers without the pesky trademark issues that continue to plague the SERPs.

I expect to see significant new behavioral options emerge at search engines other than Google this year. What’s driving this trend? A high level of interest in behavioral inventory, plus the fact that overlaying search behavior on a display ad network or another display ad inventory management system results in a higher yield on that inventory than on remnant prices otherwise available.

It’s likely that whatever cool behavioral targeting options are rolled out will come from Yahoo or Microsoft. Google, on the other hand, has indicated publicly on more than one occasion that it isn’t comfortable with implementing a search retargeting program. Some of these communications post-date the completion of the DoubleClick acquisition.

The topic of behaviorally targeting searchers is particularly relevant given the recent hubbub surrounding the failed Microsoft-Yahoo merger. There’s rich irony in the fact that Microsoft and Yahoo are both big believers of behavioral targeting within an automated Web-based or API (define) driven marketplace. Each entity owns display advertising exchanges and uses profile data to target display advertising. Microsoft even uses profile data to allow marketers to bid-boost against demographic segments.

Current retargeting campaigns that my team and I have run through third-party providers have amazing ROI (define) and work very well, but they suffer from volume shortages. With site-centric retargeting, we only have an opportunity to find (and retarget) those individual searchers we’ve seen before (and cookied) during a site visit.

Within a search environment, the percentage of searchers that we could cookie might (optimistically) be 5 percent of the total search audience, except on brand searches (meaning that our average CTR (define) on search keywords is 5 percent). The search engines, on the other hand, see 100 percent of the search audience and therefore have a cookie base 20-plus times larger. Far greater scale is available once one has the larger cookie base. Another great advantage is that some searchers routinely ignore the paid listings. So unless a marketer has high organic rank, the opportunity to currently capture cookies is limited to paid search.

Given the willingness of Microsoft and Yahoo to embrace behavioral search retargeting, they have a huge opportunity to meet the escalating demand for this approach. That includes structuring their offerings to allow for behavioral targeting against competitive searches, regardless of their SERP trademark policies. The appetite among our clients and the SEMPO survey respondents is particularly strong for in-market consumers who have voluntarily shared with search engines their needs, desires, research interests, and preferences through a combination of voluntary profiles and their searching behavior.


Posted in Ad Products, Ad/Behaviroral Targeting, Search Marketing | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

News Highlights: Behavioral Targeting

Posted by Mort Greenberg on April 9, 2008


Behavioral Targeting: Why This Hot Technology is Burning its Users
WebProNews, KY – 12 hours ago
Behavioral targeting (BT) has been around since the first dotcom days. In late 2007 it rose to fame again thanks to a few big promoters like Facebook;
Targeting with Culture in Mind
ClickZ News, NY – 7 hours ago
By Vicky Chen, The ClickZ Network, Apr 9, 2008 Behavioral targeting has evolved from tracking consumers’ online action to evaluating their mindsets and
FTC Divided Over Online ‘Behavioral Targeting InformationWeek
all 4 news articles »
How To Use, Really Use, Behavioral Targeting, NY – 19 hours ago
You can hardly open up your browser these days without hearing about behavioral targeting. Well, buckle up–because the fun is just beginning.
Behavioral Targeting: Chicken Soup for Recession’s Soul
ADOTAS, NY – Apr 7, 2008
If so, then it’s time to change our behavior. What behavioral targeting has always offered is a way to engage with our target audience in a way that is
AMC Hopes To Alter Upfront Buying Behavior, Offers TV Guarantees
MediaPost Publications, New York – Apr 7, 2008
The behavioral targeting component of AMC’s 2008-09 upfront sales strategy is part of a suite of new audience metrics developed by the channel,
Just An Online Minute… European Regulators Propose Stricter, NY – 15 hours ago
Bills are pending in New York and Connecticut that would regulate behavioral targeting. These bills, still in early stages, would require companies to allow
On Ad Networks: Pork Bellies, Diamonds, Or The New Direct Marketing?
Washington Post, United States – 16 hours ago
All about pricing: Sarah Welch, co-founder and COO, Mindset Media, an ad network specializing in “psychographic” behavioral targeting, noted that a lot of S – WPO
Spying on Internet users
International Herald Tribune, France – Apr 7, 2008
The big growth area in online advertising right now is “behavioral targeting.” Web sites can charge a premium if they are able to tell the maker of an
Behavioral Targeting Still Concerns Consumers
eMarketer, NY – Apr 1, 2008
“Education once again appears to be the key to finding a constructive balance between behavioral targeting and consumer privacy,” said Fran Maier,
Consumers Well Aware of Behavioral Tracking, Targeting – Don’t
Media Buyer Planner, MD – Apr 1, 2008
Marketers use behavioral targeting to deliver a more customized experience (ie, relevant ads) and to improve their marketing metrics, but they run up

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