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.