How Behavioral Should Look In 6 Months

I must admit, I'm a sucker for being targeted. Just the other day I was making a mockup of a JetBlue ad (don't ask, I'm a marketing guy!) and in the process of creating it I visited to grab their logo and get some styling tips.

Next thing I know, in my inbox is an email from JetBlue announcing a $20 off promotion. Wait...did they just...retargeting delivered via email campaigns? Cool!

Turns out plenty of other people got that same email that day who hadn't visited, so it was just a coincidence. Got me thinking though.

Everything should be delivered behaviorally, when it can. Given the choice between a) sending your mailer out all at once to a bunch of people who may or may not be interested in your offer right now or b) sending it asynchronously to people as they visit your website, which do you think would net more fish?

From a technological standpoint, this would be complex but not that difficult (and maybe someone's doing it -- let me know if you are!). I have booked with JetBlue before, they have a good idea of my likely IP address and have my email on file. It's just a matter of connecting the two in real time.



But why stop there? With Google's foray into managing TV ad campaigns, why shouldn't those commercials I watch (read: fast forward through but certainly notice brand images) pique my attention by being directly related to my online brand intent? I know what you're thinking: this is creepy. Any new intent-based technology always is, and the challenge for us as marketers is how to harness it for our own good while engaging the consumer in a not-too-intrusive way.

For example, if the fact that I'm being retargeted so early and often across channels means that I get an exclusive, 20% offer for a trip I was already going to book with my favorite airline, I say bring it on. Here's a tip: if you're retargeting people, there's usually a reason they left your site, and you should do what you can to sweeten the deal for them. First time you retarget them, remind them of the product they were deliberating over on your site. Still no conversion, give them a coupon to buy that product. Still nothing? Free shipping. Eventually cut them off, but this stuff works -- yet there are a scant few companies doing it right.

And I bet the privacy hawks would clamor a whole lot less if they were getting a better deal from JFK to Aruba because of our new scary technology...

12 comments about "How Behavioral Should Look In 6 Months".
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  1. C.t. Trivella from NAS Recruitment Communications, September 17, 2009 at 9:09 a.m.

    Thank you for such an insightful article. It blows me away with how we can have "big brother" watching us from afar knowing our likes and dislikes. Personally, I am still on the fence with behaviorally targeted advertising. There's just something about being "watched" that I find unsettling. However, the World will continue to spin and technology will improve, so when looking at this through my clients' eyes, it really is a very cool thing.

  2. Brian Spencer from JWT Action, September 17, 2009 at 10:15 a.m.

    Your own experience about visiting the Jet Blue site is an important example of a major problem: BT doesn't always understand why someone is "really" visiting a site. You happened to be on the site to grab a logo, not book a flight. You aren't alone: our media consumption is not always an indicator that we are ready to buy. BT needs to understand where people are in the purchase cycle. Otherwise, we could discourage window shopping through a barrage of emails, banners, etc.

  3. Mickey Lonchar from Quisenberry, September 17, 2009 at 12:06 p.m.

    Paul, a nice reminder on re-engagement. Once a customer "raises his hand" by opting-in via an offer or click through, that is the opportunity to create a dialogue with that customer. Re-targeting with follow-up offers may work, but in addition to "sweetening the deal" you also have the opportunity to just ask why they left.

  4. Paul Knegten from Dapper, Inc., September 17, 2009 at 1:29 p.m.

    @Brian Spencer - that's pretty trivial, though. You can cookie the user and if they reached a search result page, they're more than likely a good person to target. My unique experience of grabbing a logo is quite rare, and could be filtered out by the right cookie process (i.e. I didn't perform a search and would be labeled as such)

  5. Simon Chernin from, September 17, 2009 at 5:53 p.m.

    Yes, BT is evolving and this type of targeting can prove to be very effective. Like mentioned in previous posts, there would have to be a way to measure intent of the user. Perhaps that can be understood from the pages they visit when they are on the site. This type of segmenting would give the advertiser a better insight to intent as well as provide a better experience for the user. Overall, Remarketing is a very powerful way to engage the user and close in on conversions.

  6. Kevin Horne from Verizon, September 17, 2009 at 6:42 p.m.

    this techology and firms selling it already exist.

  7. Cyhyoung Park from CEC, September 17, 2009 at 9:17 p.m.

    The idea of behavioral re-targeting is very exciting as a marketer (although I can see how it can be rather creepy to an end user!). Let me know of anyone doing a superb job, would like to learn.

    But more important, whether we or gov't like behavior targeting or not, this is where future is headed. Soon even Google will provide intent & behavior based search results (i.e. your search results will vary depending on your previous online search patterns, a slider that give you different search results based on your intent (researcher or shopper mode), localized results based on ip address, etc. It's going to get pretty insane out there~!

  8. Paul Knegten from Dapper, Inc., September 18, 2009 at 1:55 p.m.

    @Kevin Horne - do tell! I'd love to know who is doing this. In any case, the technology is only half the solution; marketers have to be forward-thinking enough to employ it.

  9. Kevin Horne from Verizon, September 18, 2009 at 11:55 p.m.

    see NetMining.

  10. Paul Knegten from Dapper, Inc., September 19, 2009 at 12:50 p.m.

    @Brian Horne very cool! thanks!

  11. Paul Knegten from Dapper, Inc., September 19, 2009 at 12:53 p.m.

    er, Kevin Horne that is...

  12. Mike Fisk from Acxiom Corp, October 19, 2009 at 3:39 p.m.

    As mentioned, BT has many faults including divining a completely wrong conclusion (e.g. the JetBlue scenario) and the creepy factor when the guess is correct. In today¬Ěs real-time, mobile, social world, why not give consumers a voice in their marketplace and simply ask them for their intent in exchange for value. Of course this model would require a high value-to-noise ratio for the consumer as well as a tool that empowers them to clearly state their real-time intent. Value to marketers is 100% opted in consumers with no guesswork. See "VRM". A simple two way conversation could be so amazing.

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