On Your Best Behavior

Marketers know your internet behavior, patterns, and interests in the blink of an eye. It’s like they’re watching your every move. Have you ever been served an ad that makes it seem like the advertiser knows you? You can thank behavioral targeting for that.

behavioral targeting


Targeting media companies and third-party data providers analyze our internet behaviors, seeking out as much information as possible. Each website has its own piece of code—called a cookie—and while you’re browsing that website, it will put a cookie on your browser. The cookie then starts capturing each and every move you make while you’re surfing the web. Each website you visit, page you read, and purchase you make is tracked, and the data is collected and analyzed. The data can determine your interests, preferences, and likes.


I know we all see it—those advertisements on the side of Facebook, displaying the pair of shoes you looked at two minutes prior. At times it feels slightly creepy that behavioral targeting can precisely figure out who you are, but it’s creating a personalized internet experience for both you and me. I know I’m constantly drawn to the “recommended for you” section on each retailer’s website, which is created through the data analyzed from behavioral targeting. It makes me feel as if I have my own personal shopper.


Advertisers marketing around the Super Bowl on Facebook had a leg up on the competition this past year. They were able to use audience targeting to see who was searching for flat screen TVs, party planning materials, and recipes. They were also able to target individuals based upon the conversations circling commercials and other topics around the big game. Many companies have found major success using these types of behavioral targeting, as people appreciate the personalization. With the help of targeted online advertising, Microsoft was able to increase the reach of their commercial that ran during the Super Bowl from 35% of their target market during the 2014 Super Bowl to 57% during the 2015 Super Bowl.

So the next time you get served an ad that seems strangely appealing or compelling, remember that’s behavioral targeting hard at work. It’s making sure the ads you see are the most relevant to you, and the most likely to get you to engage and interact. Connect with us to learn all about how we can help support your targeted advertising campaign.



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