If you missed the early stages of behavioral targeting (BT), you also missed all the BT 101 materials that appeared back then. Now that BT pundits almost always address their remarks to the educated, catching up can be hard.
For all you folks out there who are new to BT but need to know more, this is a 5 step plan for starting your first BT campaign.
Once upon a time...
Imagine that you're planning an online campaign for the "Eversink," a fancy new putter.
Your client, the seller of this prodigious golf club, is cash-poor and needs to do the job as economically as possible.
If funds were unlimited you might concentrate the campaign on a selection of premium golf-related websites. But the contextual audience that they offer is pricey, and your client's campaign would be a short one if that was all you did.
In the bad old days the only solution would have been to dilute your effort with lower quality inventory, which would lengthen its run but would likely not improve its ROI.
But these days there's another choice-- behavioral targeting which aims to provide you with the same audience that you would find on top-priced verticals, but for less.
Jack Smith is the vice president of product strategy for 24/7 Real Media. Read full bio.
BT does its job by tracking what people do online: the pages they visit, where they click and how often. It filters the anonymous results into marketing-relevant categories of those with like behavior and like tastes. My company, for example, has, among others, Techies, Gamers, Women, and Entrepreneurs, as well as the ability to create custom segments based on virtually any activity a user does online.
You then pick the categories most likely to include people interested in your offer, and the publisher serves your ad to them whenever and wherever they show up.
That's the in-a-nutshell theory, but how do you get it done for Eversink?
Let's assume you've already done two things:
- Produced killer Eversink creative directed at the consumers likely in the market for putters.
- Decided to serve it on the (fictional) Gazillion advertising network, with access to hundreds of sites at once rather than on a single site.
Next, you choose BT segments from those Gazillion offers. This time it's a no-brainer because Gazillion has a "Golf Nuts" category especially for golfers. You select that category, and also specify that to get into the frame users must do the things that qualify them as Golf Nuts at least four times in two weeks.
You don't want to waste ammo on chance visitors