• Not A Spy But A Valet
    Let's face it. Behavioral targeting is just a tough sell with consumers on a number of levels. First, it is designed to work invisibly in background and only on occasion. Even if BT companies were eager to explain to their targets how and why they do what they do, the opportunities to have these conversation online are occasional and fleeting. How does that conversation work? "Here is an ad, and oh, by the way, let's stop for a second and talk about why you are seeing it here."
  • In-Stream BT: The Elephant In The Room
    Over the past year the online video space has seen an explosion of new video content, new consumers of that content, and new advertising inventory. Ergo, theoretically at least, expanded content, plus users, plus inventory, SHOULD, by all measure, equal rich expansion of opportunities for behavioral targeting of in-stream video. In reality, that's not really been the case, at least not yet. Turning the video usage boom into a scalable targeting opportunity means the industry must seriously address one big elephant in the room, the lack of third-party ad serving for in-stream ads, Tod Sacerdoti, CEO of BrightRoll, explains below.
  • Exposing The Beacons In Our Midst
    Surveys often suggest that users are not as exorcised over online behavioral tracking as are privacy watchdogs, academics, and the press. But according to Cathy Dwyer, Pace University Associate Professor in the Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems, this complacency turns quickly to shock when you sit someone down at their PC and show them explicitly all the ways in which a single site may drop cookies and beacons for others to follow. "I do this with 18-, 19- and 20-year-olds, and once they find out this is going on they go ballistic. A few of them in …
  • Video Targeting: Simplifying The (Still) Too-Complex
    If there's a consistent law of media history it's that, for advertising-supported content channels, simplicity is the key, the sine qua non, of survival. Online video is a lot of things, exciting and engaging certainly among them, but not, from an advertising point of view, very simple. The still far-from-completed challenge of online video -- if it wishes to become a truly integral branding channel (one really capable of commanding a solidly double-digit share of branding budgets) -- is to distill the still overly complex data generated by video usage online into a more transparently targetable channel.
  • Content Matters: Nano-Targeted Retargeting
    Retargeting has been one of the most effective arrows in the behavioral marketer's quiver for a number of years. Following a user who has already been to a retailer site and offering her a follow-up offer is pretty much a no-brainer. She has shown purchase intent in a given category and is familiar with the retail brand. What is not to love about tapping her on the shoulder as she travels elsewhere? And it comes as no surprise that retargeting works even better when the creative itself is more tightly relevant to the behaviors a customer evidenced originally on the …
  • Smashing Optimization Silos
    A not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the often-prophesied friction-free online advertising ecosystem, the one where efficiency would equal ever-increasing value of inventory. While improvements in targeting technology have progressed rapidly, the value of display inventory has steadily, and steeply, declined overall. Indeed, so much so that it's become commonplace on the conference circuit to hear speculation on a permanent depression in display pricing, even for ostensibly "targeted" inventory. A big part of the problem is what might be called "optimization silos" that still exist in the online world among content optimization, behavioral targeting and creative optimization.
  • The Further Adventures Of Opt-In Man
    Apparently, they are all after me now -- except the ones I thought were after me. In my ongoing sample of privacy policies and opt-out procedures in the last few months, I like to check my browser against the Opt-Out page at the Network Advertising Initiative. I was astonished to find this time around that I have been tagged by pretty much everyone. This may be good news to ad networks, but most consumers would be astonished to find that a couple dozen ad networks serving much of the Internet have all planted cookies in their browser.
  • Attribution Analytics Could be BT's Best Friend
    The premise and big promise of online display advertising has been that it could ultimately free advertisers from the "blind spending" of traditional media. Unfortunately in actual practice measurement and accountability often open up more questions than answers for marketers, and create more confusion than clarity. Therein lies the current quandary of online advertising, at least on the brand and display side. Addressing this quandary is clearly going to be a pressing topic of the next few years, making the heretofore mostly esoteric topic of attribution analysis an increasingly hot-button one
  • 'Will Trade My Info for Better Ads'
    How willing are online users to trade personal information for a more-targeted ad experience? That seems to be the question at hand among behavioral marketers struggling to find ways of explaining to consumers the value exchange involved with usage tracking. According to a new survey that Q Interactive ran with 1,800 Coolsavings.com visitors, a majority of users across major demographic segments are interested in the deal.
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