Behavioral targeting technology is often and rightly viewed for its "disruptive" potential to transform the way advertisers strategically use ads. But, as multimedia entrepreneur Mark Elderkin, founder of Gay.com and PlanetOut Partners, two of the largest and most successful media ventures aimed at the LGBT community, explains, the true value proposition of behavioral for the niche publication is as a means of enhancing the experience of its users.
In-game advertising enjoyed a lot of buzz in 2006, but the platform should power up in 2007 as new generations of Xbox 360, Playstation 3 and Wii consoles all come out of the box with broadband support. But aside from the predictable post-campaign branding studies, do we really know how, why and where product placement and brand messages work in the game experience? One U.K. firm, Bunnyfoot, is hoping to extend its legacy of studying user interfaces into the game world.
The goal of behavioral targeting is to deliver relevant messages to consumers across any and all content channels and platforms. In practice, of course, that sort of channel-agnostic flexibility remains more hope than fact. Alexandra Tibbetts, Microsoft adCenter director of product management, outlines Microsoft's evolving strategy for 2007 in moving BT beyond its current "silos."
It comes as no surprise that shopping, like overeating, can relieve stress. But recent findings by BigResearch's Simultaneous Media Survey show a very detailed and revealing relationship between major life-changing events (marriage, divorce, retirement) and spikes in both consumption and media usage.
Behavioral targeting is widely, and rightly, seen as having the potential to radically transform not only the tactics but the strategies of advertising. In actual practice, however, it remains for most publishers little more than a tool for squeezing a little extra revenue out of "sub-par" inventory, and for most advertisers a tactic for generating higher response rates. Worthy goals-- but hardly paradigm shifting. Undertone Networks CEO Mike Cassidy outlines how some of his clients are extending the reach of behavioral targeting to play a more strategic role in building their customer relation management platform.
While games marketing is not ready to incorporate behavioral targeting techniques for a while, we thought this was a good time to ask DoubleFusion's CEO Jon Epstein how the medium currently targets audiences, and some of the possibilities down the line for cueing specific ad messages with gaming behaviors.
While the number of aggregated eyeballs glued to the TV set to watch any one show at a given time inexorably declines, the number of disaggregated eyeballs watching many different programs at many different times increases. Unfortunately television advertising has lagged far behind the actual behavior of consumers. But companies like Cambridge, MA-based personalization technology developer Choice Stream are helping major video content providers to connect the dots.
Behavioral tracking continues to be the hot topic in advertising circles this season, but it is just as critical now for the e-commerce segment. Home Décor Products Inc. Director of Marketing Christal Condon let us tag along as she tails her shoppers and divines both merchandising and marketing strategies from their every move.
Consumer-oriented social networking sites like MySpace have quickly come to occupy center stage as the "next big thing" in online advertising. Yet, though they've succeeded in amassing tens of millions of eyeballs and incredible diversity of content, they've yet to establish tools for tracking, measuring and ultimately targeting their users by interest and activity. Randy Selman, CEO of rich media and digital asset management firm Onstream Media, discusses the infrastructure challenges facing user-generated content and video networks looking to target and monetize all their content.
With 31 million domestic monthly uniques (45 million worldwide) browsing across 600 nano-niches of special interest, About.com would seem like a veritable candy store for behavioral targeting. But as we also discovered when we spoke with another veteran of the platform, WSJ.com, About.com does not want BT to erode the value of its contextual offerings. Ben Reid, vice president of sales and operations, tell us that two and a half years after initiating the platform, BT has evolved into a "judicious" but persistent choice for his clients.