• BT Blue
    Ruben Kane, the entrepreneur behind the "Adult Dating" site/social network AdultSpace, believes that when it comes to deploying anonymous behavioral data to increase engagement and ad revenues for social media and mobile apps, adult entertainment may have something to teach the online ad industry.
  • Among The Numerati: Tracking The Trackers
    When I first heard of Business Week reporter Stephen Baker's book about the new world of data mining, "The Numerati," it seemed a must-read for anyone interested in behavioral targeting. Baker's fascinating drill down into the world of data hunters and gatherers is one of the first accessible looks into the complex trails we leave behind us in a new digital world. I caught up with him by phone last week to see how he puts behavioral targeting in the context of the much larger, looming world of data collection.
  • No More Banker's Hours: 24/7 Financial Targeting
    It wasn't too long ago that the phrase "banker's hours" was still commonly used, referring to the fact that banks, which then routinely closed in mid-afternoon, hours before most Americans got out of work, didn't follow or need to follow the same schedule as the rest of us. That same sense of imperviousness extended beyond the clock to the ways banks interacted with and marketed to consumers. Though banks long ago gave up banker's hours, it's taken far longer for financial institutions to fully respond and adapt to changes in consumer behavior. Faced with a rapid influx of new competitors, …
  • Personalization: It's Not Easy Being Me
    Personalization is one of the great un-kept promises of digital media. From the time I started covering online publishing in 1995, content providers have been playing with the model with few examples of sustained success. This is as much a user issue as it is a publisher problem. Many of us like the idea of a more streamlined content experience that aggregates large volumes of news around our particular interests, but very few of us want to put effort into creating the necessary input (registration, profile building, or even simple box ticking) it takes to get some level of personalization.
  • Game Time For Self-Regulation Advocacy
    With online advertising, especially on the display side, struggling to keep its bearings in a shaky economic landscape, the role of behavioral data as a critical component of driving new efficiencies grows all the time. Yet, for all its strategic centrality in the long-term game plans of online players, the ultimate rules that will prevail for BT -- and by whom and how those rules will be imposed -- remain deeply uncertain. For that reason the stakes of any and all debates and decisions emerging in Congress this year on behavioral targeting could not be higher. It's clearly game time …
  • Listening To The Engine
    When dynamic ad technology company Teracent started helping HP retarget users off site, a funny thing happened. The engine behind the dynamic ad creation system started telling the marketers that some of the rules it made for the system were holding back performance. In a branding campaign for a retailer, the Teracent engine used real-time multivariate techniques to form and custom-serve on-the-fly audience segments that performed at least as well as pre-existing BT segments. According to Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing Chip Hall, sometime a real-time engine can read the most relevant behavior better than historical behavior. Learn …
  • BT Learns To 'Seize The Moment'
    For better or worse, "Internet time" has replaced the far more leisurely "New York minute" as the reference point through which most of us experience, and act on, information, be it news, financial transactions, entertainment, business and even personal communications. As the prime movers of the Internet economy, online advertisers SHOULD in theory be at the very front of the curve in delivering customized real-time data. Yet, ironically, argues Paul Knegten, head of marketing at Dapper, most of the ads online consumers see, especially "re-targeted" ones, are delivered, if you will in the "rear-view mirror," reflecting yesterday's news.
  • You've Been De-Anonymized
    In a new academic paper from two University of Texas scholars, computer science researchers are turning their eye towards defining "anonymity" and "privacy" online. This is the sort of academic scrutiny of privacy that is getting funded (partially by National Science Foundation grants in this case) and will form a bedrock of research about the technical possibilities around identity protection and theft. The outlines of this research are worth reviewing because they reveal the contours of what privacy protection policies will have to address in dealing with social networks.
  • Filtering Out The Noise
    Search has often, and deservedly, been praised as the gold standard of online ad efficiency, the central repository of the world's "database of intentions." Yet the fact remains that most of the best intention-signaling consumer behavior occurs outside the search context. The pursuit of getting at this behavioral data, and doing it at scale, has been the holy grail of behavioral marketing for some time. The question is how to distill rich, truly intent-based behavior from more generic behavioral data. It's this challenge ad network Adconion and intent-based data exchange BlueKai have taken on in a new partnership.
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