Changes in Technology & Politics and their effect on Business
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We’ve already seen signs of it — targeted ads on Facebook, suggested people to follow on Twitter, even Google Instant seems to know what you’re thinking — but how is behavioral targeting changing the Internet at large?
Here’s how behavioral targeting works: Targeting companies establish an agreement with a publisher, who puts a piece of code on his website. (That publisher must have a clearly stated policy for the consumer to opt out from having data collected.) Then, when you’re browsing the web, the site will put a cookie on your browser, which populates as you surf. (Though one interviewee, ContextWeb, targets based on content and not cookies.)
Now that your browser has a cookie, the targeting begins. Data points amass as you click your way from site to site, taking note of what you buy, what you read and what you search for. The more time goes on, the more data is collected. Back in 2003, we had audience targeting, which assigned people to various demographics and targeted these demographics based on age, gender and location. Now, with more data, the targeting can be — and is — much more dynamic, and can gauge your interests and preferences. Companies that specialize in targeting can nearly promise more ad engagement by targeting people who have indicated -– through their behavioral patterns on the web -– that they might be interested in the product at hand. It’s a more costly form of advertising, but the conversion rate can offset the increased cost.
All of the data that has been collected by targeters has huge implications for the Internet of the future. We spoke with three experts in the field of behavioral targeting to discuss the biggest effects that targeting will have on the web as we know it.
Read the rest of this article>>>>> 4 Ways Behavioral Targeting Is Changing the Web.