Behavioural targeting: answering the WHAT question to improve conversion


behavioural targeting profiling and conversionThe term behavioural targeting is mostly used in an online advertising context (display, text ads, etc.).  However, it is also used for on-site  content and message targeting and in cross-channel interactions, where several behavioural parameters can be taken into account to create more relevant and personalized user, communication or even shopping experiences, while focusing on an increased conversion.

When looking at the past behaviour of website visitors or customers (where you can also include transactional data), it's clear that it's possible to offer your visitors, using cookies, for instance, a more personalized experience the next time they visit your website or other online property.

In a way, you can compare it with segmentation and personalization exercises in email marketing or other forms of marketing, whereby multichannel behaviour data are used to optimize relevance, personalization and thus conversion. The relevance and at the same time conversion possibilities become even greater when the personalized experience doesn't happen the next time but in real time.

Acting upon what people are doing

Besides giving you insights (and the ability to define processes and scenarios), based on what people do or have done and will thus probably do or want next, in general behavioural analysis is an excellent way to answer the "what are they doing" part of website visits or interactions with other properties.

Based on that "what" part, content, messages and proposals can be more personalized and relevant. The number of behavioural elements that can be taken into account, during for instance, a website visit, is tremendous. On top of simple flows providing preference and behaviour data, various interaction possibilities such as transactional behaviour or the use of online applications open up behavioural targeting opportunities.

The fact that the "what" part is so important, may make behavioural profiling and targeting look like the most common aspects of web analytics. However, it's not. The main purpose is not to analyze, understand and improve in general but to profile, target, act and convert.

Targeting, based on transactional, behavioural and demographic digital footprints, allows a better user experience and increases conversion by offering people what they seek and what they like. Obviously, this requires a smart approach and the proper tools in order to prevent interactions that seem relevant but are not since the individual visitor is, for instance, looking for something for someone else.

However, acting upon the "what" is a strong driver of conversion, certainly if it can be coupled with behavioural profiling on other online properties and even third party sites.

The next step would be understanding the "why" but acting upon the "what" is a key to improved conversion.

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