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Contextual Advertising Online and Behavioral Marketing

By: Scott Eagle, Claria Corpoation

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Compared to other online ad targeting methods, such as targeting by demographics, contextual targeting produces better response. But contextual advertising is just part of a larger movement that is sweeping the online marketing world. This movement is known as behavioral marketing.

Contextual advertising represents the first step in a shift in how we think about audiences. Rather than targeting audiences solely on demographics (Men 18-49, College graduates 18+), marketers are learning to target by online behavior. The first step is to shed the well-established offline demographic targeting methodology and begin to look at the mindset and observed actions of the consumer. Contextual advertising does just that.

Take, for instance, keyword advertising on search engines and portals. A car manufacturer who bids on keyword "minivan" is hoping to capture prospects based on their web behavior searching for information on minivans at a search engine. The car manufacturer hopes not only to reach the right prospect, but also to reach that prospect at just the right time, when he's searching for information. But contextual advertising in this fashion is only scratching the surface of the ability to target desirable consumer behaviors.

What if an advertiser could identify a minivan buyer entering the consideration process by, say, noticing that the consumer was gathering information from a number of auto-related websites? Furthermore, what if marketers could identify behavior that indicated that a consumer was moving down the consideration funnel and is deciding between two specific models/options? There is a tremendous opportunity to present a targeted and relevant message when these types of behaviors are identified. That's what behavioral marketing is all about.

   

 
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