Behavioral targeting the new way to market
By Leanne Hoagland-Smith February 17, 2012 3:02PM
Leanne Hoagland-Smith. | Provided photo~Sun-Times Media
The purpose of marketing is initially two-fold: to attract attention and to begin to build the relationship. However, with technology being able to deliver additional metrics, marketing is now even more about behavioral targeting based on market segmentation.
For years, businesses segmented their customers to the all too familiar A, B and C categories.
• “A” customers generated the most revenue and profits with the greatest frequency of purchases (think repeat business)
• “B” customers’ purchases usually had less dollar value and profitability along with less frequency
• “C’ customers typically purchased with far greater irregularity, usually had less profitability and may have also been more demanding
Now technology can provide the capacity for segmenting the target market and ideal customers with further specificity because of behaviors. One of the best examples of behavior targeting through market segmentation is Facebook. The ads along side of the continuous feed are specific to the Facebook user based upon his or her likes and other factors. Companies use those infamous “cookies” to track the Internet behavior of the web surfers and this information is then sent back to the advertising company.
Another well known firm that uses behavioral marketing is Amazon. Customers of Amazon consistently receive notices regarding products based upon their own purchases and what other people have purchased.
Behavioral targeting is very much dependent upon both the demographics and probably more so the psychographics (the whys behind the buying decision) of each potential buyer. A recent post by Jill Konrath, author of “Selling to Big Companies” and “SNAP Selling,” shared some ongoing research as to how the some specific psychographics may translate into buying decisions.
Konrath quoted an Italian study about negative stimuli and the difference in reaction by those who identified themselves as conservatives or as liberals. The participants for the most part were younger women (under the age of 30). In another study conducted through the Journal of Experimental Social Psychology suggested conservatives learned negative stimuli better than positive ones and appeared to be more game avoidant than liberals.
The reality is conservatism and liberalism can be viewed as behaviors and therefore can be segmented within the psychographics of potential customers or prospects. For some businesses, this behavioral segmentation may have no relevance, but for others it may provide a competitive advantage.
Additional research has been undertaken on eye movement and how that can lead to increased sales conversion. For example, in the US, people read from left to right. The eyes are always just a little ahead of where they should be. This is why advertisements on websites are placed on the far right hand side as the eyes are moving to the right even before the current words have been read. Eye movement is a behavior and is being used to construct more effective marketing especially within websites.
Years ago in high school journalism, understanding eye movement was specific to photographs and graphics. If the movement in the photograph was going to the right such as someone pointing or passing a basketball, then the picture would be place on the far left hand side to ensure the eyes always moved to the center. The goal was to keep the eyes on the page and not off the page.
Behavioral marketing is not new. Technology from cookies to actual brain MRIs have taken this existing marketing strategy up several levels beyond what some advertisers, marketers and even business executives ever envisioned.
To be a forward thinking leader in today’s global and technology driven marketplace, small business owners to even C Suite executives may wish to consider expanding their knowledge specific to market segmentation through behavioral marketing. This knowledge when applied correctly can build brand awareness, develop customer loyalty, increase sales and improve profitability.
P.S. Shout Out: Locally owned restaurants are good for business lunches. Ruben’s Mexican Grill in Dyer and El Pueblo in Portage are two such establishments.