Russia spies on the United States. The United States spies on Russia. In the marketplace, competitors spy on one another. Knowing what your competitors are doing helps you plan your next move. Print’s biggest competitor is online marketing. If it wants to compete, it needs to do a bit of spying.
One of the things online marketing is doing well is behavioral targeting. In other words, tracking information on an individual’s web-browsing behavior, such as the pages they have visited or the searches they have made, and then selecting which advertisements or products to display based on that information.
A research study from the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) conducted earlier this year found that, in 2009, behaviorally targeted advertising secured an average of 2.68 times the revenue per ad as non-targeted “run of network” advertising.
Behaviorally targeted advertising was also found to be more than twice as effective at converting “ad clickers” into actual buyers and that behavioral advertising accounted for approximately 18% of advertising revenue.
Other studies support these findings. According to eMarketer, 14.2% of all display ad spending in 2010 will use some form of consumer behavior data for targeting ads. By 2014, nearly one in five display ad dollars will be linked to behavioral targeting (AdWeek Feb. 18, 2010).
What does this mean for print? Two things.
- Behavioral targeting works. Although behavioral targeting is a term used in online advertising, the concept applies across media. The more we can target consumer behavior in print, the more effective print will become.
- As more and more online marketers and publishers incorporate behavioral targeting, the more consumers will expect it. Print doesn’t want to be affected by negative differentiation.
Consumers don’t make a distinction between print and online marketing. They expect the same type of relevance from print as they do online. Print cannot be expected to do everything online advertising does (and it has its own benefits that online does not), but you don’t want lack of relevance and personalization to be a glaring negative differentiator, either.
It’s time to bring behavioral targeting into print.