How effective is behavioral targeting

Behavioral targeting: behavior-related advertising on the Internet

In the context of advertising measures, behavioral targeting is seldom limited to individual websites. In order to show users tailor-made advertisements, advertising marketers such as Google combine various online platforms to form advertising networks. While smaller providers work with selected cooperation partners, that stands Google display network in principle open to every website operator. It now comprises more than two million websites and thus reaches over 90 percent of Internet users worldwide.

Advertising marketer such as Google DoubleClick, Facebook, Ad Pepper, TradeDoubler, Ligatus and many more act as intermediaries between advertisers and publishers: Cooperating website operators provide advertising space, which the marketers fill with text and image ads from their advertisers as required.

The advertising material is delivered centrally by one or more Ad server. These are database-based management systems that are entrusted with the administration of advertising space on the Internet. Ad servers are responsible for the storage and delivery of advertising material and enable an evaluation of the advertising success using measurable parameters such as impressions and clicks.

Instead of integrating advertising banners including a link to the provider directly into the HTML code of a website, the advertising space is provided with a script. This causes the user's browser to send a request to the ad server (address request). Incoming inquiries are compared with existing user profiles there. If the website visitor can be identified, the ad server selects an ad that corresponds to the targeting and sends a response packet back to the browser. The Choice of advertisement thus takes place parallel to the construction of the website and individually for each visitor. If an advertising banner is clicked, the user is first forwarded to the ad server, which logs the user interaction and then forwards it to the advertiser's website.

Ad networks span large parts of the Internet and thus provide a comprehensive picture of the surfing habits of potential customers. Data that was recorded on a partner site is managed centrally via ad servers and is available for directing advertising campaigns across the entire advertising network. That enables advertisers to have personalized advertising strategies like that Retargeting, in which Internet users are confronted with targeted advertisements about the products in which they have previously shown interest.