If conversation is a kind of behavior, then the recently launched coComment.com service brings to the world of behavioral analysis a new angle. The company lets users track their own commentary around the Web and even those of their contacts. While still in its early phases, coComment is tracking conversations across 150,000 sites already. As CEO Matt Colebourne tells us, the next phases will involve leveraging that database of conversations, attitudes, topics and views into market intelligence about what we are thinking and talking about.
Most initial discussion about behavioral targeting is based on the assumption that data -- and more specifically, data crunching technologies -- are what drive BT e-mail campaigns. While this is true enough on its face, the deeper issue is aligning customer-centric and ideally customer derived data with well understood goals, explains Arthur Sweetser, vice president of marketing at e-mail optimization firm e-Dialog.
As adware firms discovered long ago, getting client software on targets' computers may be the best way to track their behavior and deliver ads that are most relevant to the ways they actually work online and offline. But as consumers themselves also made clear long ago, the terms of the adware deal are less than appealing. Zango CEO Keith Smith explains how the company is dealing with this problem. Zango is installing client-side ad-serving software and toolbars on PCs -- but all parts of the process have to be fully visible, and the exchange of value substantial.
As standalone entities, each of the key emerging targeting methodologies, demographic (which tells you WHO consumers are), behavioral (which tells you WHAT they like) and contextual (which tells you WHERE they are) each have signal strengths and weaknesses. The challenge, as Tim Vanderhook, CEO of Specific Media, outlines below, is to fit each of these three Ws together, making the targeting whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Almost a year after adding behavioral targeting to its own mix, the Jumpstart vertical ad network for the auto industry decided the market needed additional education in the technology. More precisely, auto advertisers needed a bit of clarification in a confusing marketplace, explains Joe Kyriakoza, vice president of product strategy. Jumpstart's new WhatisBT.com Web site offers auto media buyers a crib sheet on the format, basic definitions, explanations of the technology and a rundown of how the various types of BT relate to auto marketing. We asked Kyriakoza what Jumpstart itself has learned in the past year about client attitudes …
Behavioral targeting has been described most definitively as moving the needle in advertising from the page to the user. Julian Steinberg, vice president of operations and strategy at Inform Technology, cautions against setting behavioral and contextual apart from one another. In fact, he suggests, deeper understanding of consumer behavior begins with deeper understanding of the page.
You could say that Claria is on its best behavior. After years of controversy surrounding its adware solutions and the old Gator brand, the company started aiming its behavioral tracking engine at content, and this week brings its PersonalWeb (My.PersonalWeb.com) engine out of beta. CEO Scott Eagle explains how the company hopes to become a personalization platform for publishers, brands and even emerging media.
The promise of online advertising has been to minimize, if not eliminate, the waste and inefficiencies that have always plagued offline advertising. The fact remains, however, that the vast majority of click-throughs are for all practical purposes "lost" the moment a prospective customer, failing to convert, leaves the site. Knotice CEO Brian Deegan argues that behavioral data can and must be leveraged not only to get customers to a site (or to re-target them with ads at other sites) but to improve the odds they'll convert once they re-visit.