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The Opportunity of Behavioural Targeting

Sometimes it’s easy to get the feeling you are being watched. It’s most obvious when you realise every banner or text link advert you see on the web is the same. They all match the search term you entered into Google earlier in the day for call centre solutions, or blogging tips, or, whatever really.

The reason you see the same ads over and over again is because you are being targeted based on your behaviour. Websites essentially store a cookie on your machine, which Google then links to search queries, which in turn allows them to serve targeted ads based on those interests. Simples.

As an advertiser this is how you follow people around the web, it’s called retargeting. You can learn all about it in this short recorded webinar from Google. Powerful stuff when applied appropriately.

Is this just about retargeting? 

Not at all. Retargeting is not the only way marketers can target you based on your behaviours. One of the more useful applications of behavioural marketing is to use the analytics and tracking tools available within marketing automation platforms. This allows you to match an individual’s web browsing pattern to a contact record in your database.

For example let’s imagine a visitor is on your website. If he goes to just one page then bounces away, you might give them a lead score of 10. But if they visited 10 pages and fill in a form to download a white paper, suddenly the anonymous visitor becomes a person. Let’s say Barry Trotter from Microsoft (insert name of your ideal customer here). Now you can start to collect more data on Barry to better target your marketing based on his behaviours – which pages he visits, case studies he downloads etc. You can even allocate an appropriate lead score based on where they are in the buying cycle.Armed with this knowledge you can better focus in on Barry’s needs and wants.

You can prioritise your campaigns too: the higher the lead score, the more you want to engage them through marketing or ultimately sales. Tailor your messaging and follow-up based on the information you have gathered online. Barry is not going to know what’s hit him when your inside sales team calls and starts to discuss the exact solutions to his problems.

Is this just for Online?

No. This works offline too. Which customers attended a seminar, or responded to a direct mail campaign? What can you learn based on those behaviours that will inform your next marketing campaign? But this is marketing 101. When you apply technology you can scale your behavioural targeting more easily, capturing ever more data on your target audience.

So what’s the point?

The point of all this is simple: the better you get to know your target audience, the more closely you can align your marketing to their needs and wants. The more closely aligned your marketing is, the higher you are likely to convert web visitors into leads, into customers; or attract leads at the top of the funnel in the first place. You can start with small steps such as retargeting on paid search campaigns, and lead scoring based on website behaviours.

But right at the top end you have programmatic ad campaigns. This is when you serve exactly the right ads based on your target audiences profiles and browser behaviours. There’s a helpful and short video explaining programmatic advertising from market leaders Xaxis you can watch below:

We’re going to be running an event in London this coming March all about programmatic advertising and encourage you to attend. If you are in any doubt that this is the future of advertising, you absolutely have to come along to find out more. Join us at techmap here.

Behavioural targeting is without a doubt a great opportunity for marketers at all levels and in all industries. You can get in touch with me here or on twitter if you would like to talk about how you can apply this to your business.