As the name says it targets the users as per their BEHAVIOR if any user’s behavior is categorized as a sports enthusiast, so showing him some sports-related ads will increase the probability of some response. Behavior targeting promises to target the right user as per the advertiser product, say an advertiser HP want’s to advertise their new product so targeting the users with Tech behavior will show more interest rather than users showing behavior for sports. This technique has helped a lot to increase the effectiveness of campaigns running for any product.

To define in one line : Behavior targeting is a technique or ability to target users based on their behavior on the internet.

The concept of Behavior targeting says – the ad shown to the user should not be relevant to the page but to the user. This technique was a great help to the marketers as now they can directly target the interested or potential users only.

Behavior targeting is nothing but knowing each and every impression where to be served. It’s about knowing your customer well.

What made behavior targeting possible?

The one and the only thing which made these technique works is “TRACKING” the user. Collecting user’s information made it possible to know about the behavior of the user. The tracking can be performed in multiple ways like if a customer registers with an e-commerce site to make a purchase, those sales along with the user’s site navigation history are often stored and analyzed to make targeted offers the next time the user comes online. Also even without registration, the site might place that information in a cookie, which is saved on the customer’s hard disk and when the user revisits the site, the cookie is sent to the Web server makes it easy to target the user. Above these all way there is one deeper way to track data is for ISPs to perform deep packet inspection on their customer’s traffic to determine the types of Web sites they visit and then the data are sold to marketing and ad serving companies to deliver more personalized ads which are we know very common these days. Many ad serving companies buy the behavior data from the third party like exelate , dataLogix etc.

What is the exact information that is tracked?

  • Page views
  • Keywords
  • Demographics information
  • Content that is being read
  • Sections on the site that is normally checked out by a user
  • Searches made
  • Domain
  • Geographic location (IP)

What data is used to select the relevant of Highly predictive anonymous visitor profile?

Behavior Variables :

  • New/return visitor
  • Previous Visits to network
  • Previous online purchases
  • Previous Campaign exposure
  • Previous Campaign respons

Environment Variables :

  • IP address
  • Country of origin
  • Time zone
  • Operating system
  • Browser type
  • Screen resolution

Temporal Variables :

  • Time of day
  • Day of week
  • Recency
  • Frequency

Other Variables :  

  • Referring domain
  • Search keywords


Behavior targeting has two major categorizations: one is which helps in targeting all users as per behavior for your website on the internet called as Network behavioral targeting and the other one which helps in targeting user within the website with different offers and promotions is called as Onsite behavior targeting.

  1. OnSite Behavioral targeting: If the behavioral targeting is done solely on one particular website, that is targeting certain content based on the behavior or information of the visitor then it’s Onsite Behavioral Targeting. Onsite BT plays a significant role in relationship building and customer retention once they’ve arrived at your website. Onsite behavioral targeting enables you to customize your website to create the most welcoming, enticing destination for your every visitor and ultimately engaging them more deeply in your site thus expecting some good response.
    Example: You hold a shopping site, what if every visitor is treated in the same way? naturally, the user will lose the interest in time .. using onsite behavior targeting helps you to categorize your customer and the show relevant products, promotions, etc. which keeps up the interest of the visitor on the site to check more products. That’s Onsite Behavioral targeting!
  2. Network Behavioral targeting: Another type of behavioral targeting is network behavior targeting which uses customer’s or visitor’s browsing history which reveals the information about who that person is – like marital status, sex, age range, interests, etc. to target the user with relevant advertising on different sites on the internet. This kind of targeting is more famous and familiar to the marketers, this targeting is done by showing Advertisement on different publishers or sites. Most Ad networks use this kind of behavior targeting!


Basically, Behavioral targeting basically works through cookies on your browser. Each time you go to a website, they send cookies to your browser. These cookies then keep a log of the websites you have visited and try to develop an approximate personality. The surfing of internet forms a behavior of every user which is then used to target them as per their personality.

Let’s know in steps how it starts to work :

Steps :

STEP 1: COLLECTION – This step only deals with collecting users data, the data is collected as per cookies, searches etc

STEP 2: ANALYSIS – This step involves a lot of analysis of the data collected, the data collected is then checked if it’s robot data or actual data. A different analysis is done on it.

STEP 3 : SEGMENTATION – After the data has been analyzed and known what type of data we have received or collected it is then segmented into different segments as per behaviors, like the users showing behavior as gadget freak will go into gadget segment, similarly the users showing behavior of aged person will go into different segment. This way lot of segments are formed so as to target the users as per the product.

STEP 4: APPLICATION – Once we have the segmented data we are ready to apply it to campaigns as per the product/advertiser. If the advertiser is of HP, we will be targeting behavior of Consumer electronics so as to catch up the users who fall into that segment increasing the probability of response.

Important points to be noted before applying BEHAVIOR TARGETING

    1. Know deeper about your customer – More you know about your customer, easier it will be to make business and get the best out of it.
    2. Consider Ad content too – If the Ad content is matched up with the content on the page the ad needs to be shown will increase the probability of the user to show interest on the Ad.

Three main benefit from BEHAVIOR TARGETING is :

  1. More Click-throughs
  2. More Conversions
  3. Improved ROI ( return over investment )

Privacy Concerns :

Trust is always a concern in anything so when it’s about behavior targeting it has to be as this technique uses the personal data. But behavioral targeting companies claim that they are highly responsible for these data, and imposes a number of bans and regulations. But still, some consumers are not that confident.

4 thoughts on “Behavioral Targeting”

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  2. Thanks for the insightful post!

    I would add that using only onsite behavioral targeting can be a great way of avoiding the “creepy” factor of advertisers knowing your browsing history and past searches. Many people may be made uneasy by this, but usually they are much less resistant to a website simply learning from their behavior on that site, and this is the approach we take in our comprehensive personalization and behavioral targeting solution, at Personyze.

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