Friday, August 31, 2007

Google Moves toward Behavior-Based Targeting

First of all, apologies for my less than prolific output recently. Working on a book on social media marketing and it's taking a lot of time. Hope to have it finished in the next 30 days.

In the meantime, news out of Google that they are working to introduce behavior-based ad targeting. They made the announcement very quietly. Perhaps they fear a backlash from privacy advocates.

I could see that backlash coming, but frankly I don't get it. As a marketer, I look at behavior-based targeting as sort of the holy grail. Advertisers get to reach the people they really care about, but equally important, the ad recipient sees ads that are most likely to interest them. Lots of surveys have shown that people use ads to help them make purchase decisions. They like ads about stuff they like. They don't like ads about stuff they don't like. Easy enough. Behavior-based targeting does exactly that.

Maybe privacy advocates don't realize that they are already leaving big, giant, easy-to-find tracks all over the web. (Look at all the murder trials where they go back and reconstruct exactly what the person did on their computer after the crime.)

Good for Google. We can already do behavior-based targeting in TV, radio, print and direct mail. A few firms have it for the web. Good to see Google in the game.