Should Your Business Engage in Behavioral Targeting?

The idea behind behavioral marketing sounds credible: learn about each individual viewer and customize your website accordingly. Who wouldn’t want that, right? However, some people will tell you that behavioral marketing is not all good.

There are problems that come along with this too-good-to-be-true marketing tool. So, how do you know if you should use behavioral marketing for your site? You could hire a professional marketing expert, or read through the following pros and cons yourself to help you decide if you should begin a behavioral targeting campaign.

Pro: Double the Conversion Rate

Ad Segment measured the average conversion rate worldwide for online display advertising on 12 ad networks. They compared run of network and behavioral marketing ad campaigns. The results showed that in every quarter, the behavioral marketing campaign’s conversion rate was more than double the run of network conversion rate. For the full year, the conversion rate was 2.8% for run of network and 6.8% for behavioral targeting.

Con: Negative Perception

Customers don’t always like the idea of being “spied on.” Annenberg School for Communication at the University of Pennsylvania asked 1,000 people 18 years or older if they liked websites to show information personalized to their interests. 32% said that they would like to be shown ads that are tailored to their interests. 66% said that they would not and 2% said maybe.

Pro: Personalized Customer Service

Some people really like the feel of personal service that behavioral marketing gives them. It can be nice to be greeted by name and find ads that relate to their previous searches. Think about how nice it is for a shop owner to remember your name and suggest items that they know you would love. Behavioral targeting is the online version of such customer service.

Con: Privacy Infractions

Behavioral marketing is self-regulated now but may not always be. Earlier this year, Federal Trade Commission Chairman John Leibowitz informed the Senate that the FTC was considering recommending a “Do Not Track” registry for behavioral targeting, since some customers feel like it is an invasion of their privacy.

Talk to your advertising team about these issues and any others that might concern you. Then weigh the pros and cons for yourself to decide if you need to implement behavioral targeting on your website.

About the Author: Anna Cruz writes about marketing, advertising, branding, graphic design and desktop publishing. Anna works for PrintPlace.com, an online printing company that offers brochures, posters, postcards, business cards and more printed marketing media.

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