When it comes to online advertising, the more targeted your audience, the better your results will be. For example, it makes little sense to market beefsteak and hamburgers to a vegan community, and advertising electric scooters to a demographic known to prefer Humvees is a complete waste of time and revenue. This is Marketing 101 in a nutshell. The problem in the days before the Internet is that outside of buying ad space in expensive niche publications and specific media programming, one had little control over who saw an ad and even less over who would respond and how.
Behavioral targeting was not possible before the advent of Internet advertising, and is made possible today only by virtue of specific Internet technologies. Thanks to such technology, it is possible to gather information on a web-surfer’s preferences and interests and use this information to target online advertising toward the people who are most likely to purchase the goods and/or services being offered.
This is not nearly as sinister as it seems, and actually works better for both advertiser and consumer – the former because this kind of Internet marketing is no longer a “hit or miss” proposition, and the latter because s/he no longer has to waste time and eyesight on promotions for products that are are of little use and/or interest to him/her.
Such online advertising strategy has raised privacy concerns among consumer groups already worried about the increasing amount of personal information being gathered and commoditized by private corporations. The fact is that such information is virtually impossible to gather using behavioral targeting because the information gathered by Internet “cookies” relates to an ISP number, not an individual – and most such cookies are either purged at the end of an individual’s browsing session in any event or can be purged by the user if s/he so desires by deleting them manually.
President & Founder, Tru Family Dental
Marketing, Dependable Cleaners
President, Frame Destination
President & Founder, Family Travel Association