5 Behavioral Targeting Rules: The Do's and Don'ts
Every marketer's dream is to know as much as possible about a consumer so it can improve its brand image and generate sales by sending exactly the right message to the right audience at the right time.
But when do consumers think marketers have "gone too far" in tracking their behavior? A growing number believe every click of a mouse, swipe of a card or call on a cell phone is being recorded and sold to the highest bidder. And in some instances, they aren't too far off the mark.
Consequently, marketers and their data collection practices are under the spotlight like never before. For companies with brands to protect, this can be an uncomfortable place to be. While marketers don't want to be the next negative headline in The Wall Street Journal, they also don't want to be so reluctant to embrace new marketing intelligence that can provide positive return on investment that they let the competition beat them out.
Here are five simple rules to follow when evaluating campaigns that use behavioral intelligence, whether they come from sites visited, search keywords, e-mail content, cell phone tracking or television shows watched.
Rule 1: Calculate Your Shock Rating. Calculate how shocked the average consumer would be to learn what information is being collected about his/her behavior and how you plan to use it in a campaign. This means understanding what your vendor does to create a profile or segment to which you advertise. Your rating should evaluate the kinds of clicks, locations or shows that are tracked to create the profile. Pay special attention to highly sensitive areas of information including medical, financial and details about children.
Rule 2: Use a Soft-Sell Approach. Direct marketers know in the offline world they shouldn't take specific knowledge they have about a consumer's behavior they received from a third party and put it in their advertisements about a specific reference to that knowledge, such as that the consumer frequents car sale sites or locations. Even if the profile tells marketers the customer has been shopping for a car, a subtle approach works best. Instead of saying, "Since you are shopping for a new car ... " the best approach would be, "If you are in the market for a new car ... " If the consumer is in the market, the message will resonate with him, rather than leave him with the feeling he is being watched.