What Exactly is Behavioral Advertising?

Good Question! Behavioral Advertising is a set of activities companies engage in to collect information about your online activity (like webpages you visit) and use it to show you ads or content they believe to be more relevant to you.

How Does it Work?

As this article points out, many advertisers and marketers rely on third parties to do their behavioral targeting for them. Ad networks are essentially middlemen technology companies that partner with hundreds (sometimes thousands) of websites for access to information about visitor traffic.

With technology that’s been around since the inception of Netscape in 1995, websites drop “cookies,” or small pieces of data, onto consumers’ hard drives to keep track of
user preferences, the contents of their electronic shopping carts, their searches, and details on where and when users click on a site. Websites also collect visitors’ IP addresses — the numerical code that identifies each computer connected to the Web and its geographic location. With this raw data, an advertising network can use software and analytics to identify consumers with like interests and Web surfing habits. The networks then sell advertisers access to these niche audiences.

Why Does It Matter?

Behavioral Targeting is one way to personalize each users experience. Targeting content is effective because it encourages users to remain on your website for a longer period of time, engage in more offers and, ideally, purchase more products.

Hubspot spoke with experts in the field of behavioral targeting to discuss the biggest effects that targeting has on the web and came up with these top 4 reasons.

1. Your Internet Experience Will Be More About You
2. The Web Could Change Its Appearance For You
3. It Will View You as a Multi-Dimensional Person With Many Interests
4. It’s Tapping Into Social and Mobile

Are you using Behavioral Marketing? If so, share some insights into how and whether it is working for you.