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Brian Gilbert

Please behave.

Brian Gilbert | Vice President, Integrated Marketing
11.7.2007       Comments (0)
Behavioral targeting is the new watchword of Web and mobile marketing. The buzz has now hit the 100 decibel level and I'm starting to go a little deaf.

Direct marketers have been talking about behavioral targeting probably before most of us were born. What we meant was buying behavior. If someone had responded to a direct marketing offer — in just about any way, shape or form — they had the behavior we were looking for.

Because of my DM DNA, that's still my bias.

Behavioral targeting now means something quite different. If someone visits a marketer's web site selling cell phones but doesn't convert to a customer, that's their "behavior." With the targeting available now, a savvy direct marketer can now serve relevant banner ads to this individual as they are "encountered" on the Web — even if they're not on a cell phone or technology site.

That's a very non-direct-marketing way of looking at behavior — and something that wasn't possible before the advent of this technology. And here's why: general agencies were never really interested in changing behavior. Their focus has been to change awareness and attitudes.

I'm okay with that — but I still find the new definition of behavioral targeting a little disconcerting based on my DM roots.