Despite the public debate over the issue of privacy and the ethics of gathering the necessary data, there is still a lack of understanding among people as to the nature of this data and why it is vital for the contemporary business world to deliver ’the good ads’ to the most potential customer, thus benefiting both sides more efficiently. I will make a case based on 3 major aspects of behavioural marketing to shine light on the matter and illustrate its revolutionary nature that now serves both consumers and businesses better than ever before.
In the past, targeting broad generational segments, like age or income level, were the requisite for seeking new customers. This was an utterly diffused and static approach that completely disregarded the flux of consumer behaviour and the nuances that come with it.
Rather than tossing a pile of ads at consumers and hoping some of the message sticks, behaviour analysis of real-time data takes all available information and uses it to build user personas and profiles based on peoples’ interest and attitude. As a result, the target groups are remarkably more precise with appropriately tailored marketing messages. Hence, it gave birth to innovative marketing strategies based on understanding the dynamics of human behaviour and tweaking the ad messages so they would resonate with potential customers. Old-fashioned demographic segmentation is not entirely redundant yet, but it is largely being replaced by future-oriented behaviour analysis.
The good old various print, broadcast, direct mail and TV commercials practised quantitative reach with utterly irrelevant and annoying ads for the majority of consumers. Nowadays behavioural data has become the key for optimising the efficiency of ads, consequently providing more personalised offers. Publishers can track activity on their websites in order to better serve their customers through content personalisation and advertisements with meaningful messaging and creatives. It is truly customer centric and a genuine way to give consumers the most relevant and effective ads for their current needs. Personalisation of ads help relevant products or services reach the right audience at the right moment. Moreover, consumers now have a choice to opt out from unrelated a.k.a. ‘bad ads’, thus sending a signal and helping refine ad relevance by giving clues on what serves their interests and what doesn’t.
Behavioural marketing is moving away from one-off transactions towards steady relationships with consumers which, in turn, propels business value. Thanks to behavioural data, individual publishers and businesses are able to provide real-time value-based content derived from users’ activity; their questions, suggestions, and so on. Yet another customer-centric strategy for anyone who focuses on the organic marketing channel, commonly known as SEO. Similarly, it applies to companies that seek to improve their products and services based on the constant feedback loop that echoes in the online world. In order to maintain brand loyalty, companies are now forced to accept consumers as people with changing needs, which should be reflected in the products and services tailored to them.
The commercial trend for developing personalised online ads that target consumers with laser precision is irreversible. However, it is reasonable to assume that more privacy protection regulations and debate over the ethics of marketing will be waiting for us further down the line as consumer permission becomes the deciding factor for effective marketing. Thanks to behavioural analysis, audiences are able to communicate to advertisers what intrigues them, how they would like to be reached and what channels they prefer. As a result, customer-centric approach alongside the crucial user data shall remain at the very core of business decisions dismissing everyone who cannot adapt to the evolution of consumer behaviour in the digital world.