Not all behavioral targeting is created equally. Many networks and publishers are touting behavioral in their marketing materials and the sad truth is, most of them have little experience with true behavioral and are simply remarketing to people who have arrived on the marketer's Web site or previously clicked on their ad. I admit this is a very powerful technique -- but it's only one piece of the behavioral puzzle.
Must online publishers resign themselves to the commodity CPMs dictated by the network marketplace? Not necessarily. My suggestion is for online publishers to take their cue from their offline counterparts and package inventory in ways that can't be bought through other channels.
Perhaps the most seductive -- and misunderstood -- form of optimization, behavioral targeting s really a refinement of targeting, or "rules based" optimization. The difference is that while targeting uses explicit segments, predictive models seek to discover rules within the data that are counterintuitive. Instead of When the user has searched for 'TurboTax,' show this offer at this price, the predictive model can look at prior searches and visits to pick the ideal offer.
I am not looking for a simpler time. Nor am I a Luddite; but I'm also far from a tech enthusiast. I don't carry a "berry" or any type of handheld device beyond my cell phone. I read way too much email as it is, so my excuse for not getting one is to avoid feeding my own habit. Jeff Einstein, who used to write regularly for MediaPost, would write passionately and convincingly that we use media the way addicts use drugs.
Consumers are spending nearly twice as much time online than they did four years ago, and eMarketer predicts that online ad spending will more than double in the next few years - jumping to $44 billion by 2011. It's no surprise that ad dollars are following the eyeballs - but the critical question for marketers is, what exactly are those eyeballs spending time looking at?
Living far below the math- and technology-drivien, auction-based, dynamic pricing approaches provided by companies like Right Media (and used by Google for that matter), is the reality of how media is planned and purchased for brand advertisers. The distance between this dynamic sales approach and the buying discipline in play for this segment are miles apart.