Yesterday I came across an article on eMarketer that showed that Behavioral Targeting brings clear benefits to publishers.
However when consumers are asked about Behavioral Targeting or data collections by websites they seem to dislike it.
It is clear from the first chart that behavioral targeting is working for everybody i.e. publishers, advertisers and consumers. If it were not working for consumers then publishers would not charge premium for it and advertisers would not pay premium for it.
So why are consumers so concerned?
As I have stated before the biggest issue seems to the lack of consumer education and the perception of behavioral targeting.
Anybody will get concerned if you tell them that the websites are collecting too much personal information about them. The issue here is how the question is framed and the context it is posed in. If asked in a different way the responses would be different than shown in the chart above.
Let’s see how the answer will differ based on the questions asked. What do you think the answer will be to the following questions?
- Do you like to be targeted?
- Do you like that the websites collect a lot of personal data about you?
I think it will be something like “Hell No, I don’t like it”
Now, let’s frame the questions in another way:
- Do you like to save you money on things you buy online? I am sure the answer will change from Hell No, to Yes.
- Will it be ok if we understand your online behavior so that we provide you better offers?…. Sure
- Understanding your behavior will require us to keep track of stuff you are buying and browsing. Are you ok with that?…. Sure or Maybe
- We might also use your gender, age range etc. also to make sure you receive the right offers and message. You already have provided this to us and there is no need for any further action from you. Will that be ok? …Sure go ahead or maybe will be the answer.
Net results “No one wants to be targeted but they want the benefits” and seems like that value proposition is not clear to the consumers, the word “Targeting” gets them very concerned.
In addition to my “5 Steps to Successful Behavioral Targeting“, here is what I think should happen
- Behavioral Targeting should be renamed with a more consumer focused name. Marketers understand “Behavioral Targeting” but this name sounds too negative for consumers.
- Educate consumers about online advertising and how using behavioral attributes helps consumers.
What do you think?
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