The internet is a constantly evolving mass of information that has only been around for a few decades, but is making a deeper and wider impact on global society each and every day. The concept of behavioral targeting is relatively new and is making an impact on each individual who uses the internet.
What is behavioral targeting you ask? Well, it all begins when targeting companies reach agreements with publishers and they put a specific piece of code into their website. As you browse the web, this site places a “cookie” on your browser. Now that the cookie is attached to your browser, the targeting is already under way. Data points are constantly being gathered as you navigate the world wide web taking note of the sites you are on, what you buy, as well as what you search for. As time goes on this data amasses itself and not only puts you in demographic categories but also takes note of your interests, preferences and hobbies.
The ability to gather this information on every individual using the internet allows companies to target specific segments of the population and thereby achieve a higher rate of interaction when marketing online. This may seem like a very costly way to advertise on the surface but the rate of interaction that you get from this method may prove to be extremely cost effective in the long run.
There are overreaching effects outside of the obvious marketing and advertising impacts that this technology can have for start-up companies trying to reach new customers. A whole new level of personalization is on the horizon. Jeff Hirsch, president and CEO of AudienceScience says that “10 years from now we will all look back and laugh that we ever had to type something into Google to find what we were looking for.” The algorithms that are being developed for this level of personalization are extremely complex and are now able to grasp a human’s depth and therefore avoid inundating you with Nike ad’s just because you were on ESPN.com. These newer and constantly evolving algorithms are breaking down website content that you view and these targeting techniques are viewing people as multi-dimensional beings.
The fact that these data points are constantly being compiled means that advances in this concept will come quick. If you are a startup company it would be wise to research this field and determine the best ways for your firm to use it to your advantage. When it comes to technology it doesn’t take long to get left behind so stay on the cutting edge with this one because its benefits to start-ups and entrepreneurs are limitless.