The popularity of online banner and display ads has been on a gradual decline since…well, they were first introduced. However, in the past several years, a revision of display advertising has taken hold. It’s called Behavioral Targeting. It is a somewhat invasive tactic, as it does require collecting data from users, and it is somewhat controversial with privacy advocates. However, it is an effective tactic when employed correctly. CTR’s are much higher and lead generation is shown to be much higher than with standard display tactics.
At its root, Behavioral Targeting refers to the practice of harvesting information generated by web users. When a user visits a web site, the site may place a “cookie” on the user’s computer that reports back to the site owner all of the user’s interaction. Now, when this is done absent permission from the user, it can be considered controversial, due to privacy concerns. However, when done with the proper permissions, the site owner can begin to build user “profiles” and, over time, redefine audience segments based on their browsing behavior. When a user returns to the site, that behavioral profile can be used to display relevant ads to the user. The theory is that as ads become more relevant to the behavior of the user, the ad CTR and conversion rate is higher.
What this means for you is that a DUI attorney can display their ad to users as they browse information on music venues, night clubs, alcohol and beverage sites, and all things related to the party scene. The branding effect is clear. Users see your ad on all of these sites and when they need you, you are top of mind.
The privacy concern with this tactic is really quite clear. It’s easy to imagine Big Brother looking over your shoulder collecting data on every site you visit and every button you click. Despite privacy concerns, there is case law supporting the validity of the tactic:
In a 2001 suit filed against DoubleClick (at the time, the largest employer of the behavioral targeting tactic). The suit alleged that DoubleClick’s placement of web cookies on user’s computers violated three federal laws: The Stored Communications Act, the Wiretap Statute and the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act.
The court ruled that DoubleClick was not liable under any of the three federal laws because adequate permissions were obtained pursuant to the Stored Communications Act and the Wiretap Statute. The court also held that DoubleClick was also not liable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act because there were less than $5,000 in losses. For more information, see DoubleClick Inc. Privacy Litigation, 154 F. Supp. 2d 497 (S.D.N.Y. 2001) “DoubleClick”. So, while Behavioral Targeting may still be controversial, it is- for now- a valid and effective means of internet marketing.
For more information about Behavioral Ad Targeting, contact an expert lawyer blogger at Legal Content Writers. Call 1-800-877-2776 for a free consultation.