The two different types of behavioral targeting – network-based and onsite-based – are both effective and valuable investments for the marketer. However, network-based behavioral targeting (read: affiliate marketing, etc.) comes complete with complexity and plenty of overhead.
The government, specifically the Federal Trade Commission, wants to ensure behavioral targeting does not invade the privacy of citizens. A noble effort. But, as the “online marketing” industry continues to evolve its practices – as evidenced by the new behavioral targeting icon unveiled last week – one method of targeting content to consumers is more generally acceptable by both government regulators and consumers alike.
The distinction between the two types of targeting is becoming more evident, as has been covered heavily in this space. Network-based targeting is essentially behavioral advertising while onsite-based targeting is behavioral marketing. The contrast is surprisingly lucid. For advertising, the scope is wide, encompassing the entire Internet and all of the various data collection issues that arise as a result. For marketing, the scope is far more targeted, with data and content specific only to an individual business. It is clear why marketers can employ onsite targeting technologies to boost business without difficulty, but behavioral advertisers encounter a host or rules and regulation and hoops that need to be jumped through.
While the catchall “behavioral targeting” term is used by the media and some influencers, the distinction between the two primary types of targeting will become even more apparent. Onsite targeting is largely withheld from heavy regulation and even self-imposed ones like the newly minted icon adorning many network-based programs.
Both primary forms of behavioral targeting will continue to be heavily invested in, as a new forecast from eMarketer revealed today. It is no secret that targeted content – whether it is considered advertising or marketing – helps increase revenue. The savviest marketers will likely invest in both.
When planning marketing investments it is important to understand onsite targeting is much easier to deploy and not subject to the heavy regulation that network-based targeting is. There is no need for the button, no best industry-wide mandatory principles to adopt and follow. While both methods secure a boost in revenue because of the marketing value of targeting content, investment in the path of least resistance makes the most sense.