Monday, December 08, 2008

So, How Is Behavioral Targeting Working So Far?

According to the “behavioral targetists,” they have been targeting commercials to consumers like us, based on our online behavior, for over a year now.

I don’t know about you, but I haven’t found myself clicking on a lot more ads over the last year.

Publishers and ad networks will be quick to point out that I’m not the norm. Yet, we haven’t seen the click-through rates on ads increase over the last year, have we? Last I saw, they are still lucky to be approaching one percent.

So maybe I’m more normal than average.

If you remember, behavioral targeting was going to make online advertising that much more efficient. People will be clicking like crazy, was the promise.


Perhaps the problem is that there just aren’t enough relevant ads to run against the many different behaviors of different individuals.

For example, how are advertisers going to be able to justify the cost of creating a commercial for a group of people that seem to enjoy say, archery, bike riding and Italian food?

Males, 18 – 24, now that’s a demo large enough to justify the cost of commercial creation. But as we hyper-target smaller and smaller, the ends no longer justify the means.

The good news is that the “behavioral targetists” promise us that advertisers will soon be able to communicate one-to-one online.


Well, at least it would be, if advertisers could afford to create something to say.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:08 PM

    Great post! But we can't forget that behavioral targeting goes beyond advertisement. Why not use BT to create a better engagement for users on your site? We know that users comign from a search engine with a refined keyword and a user simply typing in the URL are two completely different engagement opportunities. Why serve them the same content?