Advertising.Com: Behavioral Targeting Increases Conversion

Consumers who visited a car manufacturer's site this February were more likely to respond to subsequent ads for that car than their counterparts who hadn't first been to the site, according to data released last week by America Online's Advertising.com.

The ad network Advertising.com said that the February campaign demonstrated the power of targeting ad campaigns to consumers based on their online behavior, adding that revenues attributable to behavioral targeting increased 80 percent in the first quarter of 2005, compared to the last three months of 2004.

Specifically, Advertising.com served ads for Volkswagen of America's Jetta 4 to consumers who had visited that brand's Web site but hadn't configured a car or signed up for more information, as well as to consumers who fit the advertiser's general demographic criteria and had visited other online car sites. Jeremy Helfand, senior vice president-general manager advertiser services at Advertising.com, said the consumers were identified via anonymous tracking cookies.

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Advertising.com found that the group that had visited the Jetta 4 site was more likely to return to the Jetta 4 site to configure a car and request information from a local dealer after receiving display ads than the group that hadn't gone to the site ahead of time. The increase in configuring a car came to 32 percent, while the increase in requesting information was 27 percent.

The ads themselves were branding messages, rather than explicit directions back to the Jetta 4 site, Helfand said. Advertising.com worked with Media Contacts, the global interactive network of Media Planning Group, on the campaign.

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