There's an old saying, "You get what you pay for." Unfortunately, in today's crowded behavioral targeting and ad network industries, that may not necessarily be true. In the absence of several recommended safeguards, unprotected marketers may be wasting 40 percent or more of their budgets and exposing their brand to damaging content and potential legal liability. By understanding these dangers, smart marketers can take necessary steps to avoid them altogether.
In the last week alone, I have had three clients separately ask the exact same question: "How much is my online advertising and paid search campaigns contributing to my retail store sales?" This usually would not raise an eyebrow, except that last week two other clients asked me: "How much is my offline media influencing my online sales?" Agencies like the one I work for receive these cross-media questions all the time, but as of late I have noticed they are being posed with dramatic frequency. To me it is another sign that we have reached an industry tipping point. …
A number of challenges have dogged the growth of behavioral targeting in the past. First and foremost, perhaps, has been privacy concerns. Lack of detailed standards or laws (especially from the naturally global perspective that is the Internet) created a bit of a "Wild West" setting with players taking positions everywhere from Marshall Dillon to Black Bart.
Motorcycle maintenance gets Zen. Business gets Sun Tzu. We in marketing will have to settle for poker. In looking at America's favorite pastime, there are some valuable lessons that can be applied to behavioral targeting and online advertising.