Behavioural targeting popular in US but lacks understanding

Some 72% of online publishers and 80% of media agencies in the US use behavioural targeting, according to a survey by US marketing body DM2Pro and AudienceScience.


But the 500 respondents, drawn from media agencies, advertisers and publishers across the country, said there was a need for more information on how behavioural targeting campaigns were run and measured.

According to the research, brands believe these campaigns are hard to measure because there’s no industry standard for reach, while agencies and publishers are worried by a lack of detail about how campaigns actually perform.

Agencies have the most knowledge about the newer techniques in audience targeting and are most likely to use the greatest range of capabilities, with 80% using behavioural, 76% using geographic and 75% using demographic selections.

Advertisers are the most traditional in their approach to targeting, with 62% preferring to use demographic data.

72% of US online publishers use audience targeting, with a third of these reporting being able to sell more valuable inventory as a result. Of these, 46% said that audience targeting is being used equally for both branding and direct response advertising.

The targeting industry in Europe is heating up in recent months, with AudienceScience’s recent acquisition of German rival Wunderloop to widen its European reach, while Eyewonder has launched a “predictive targeting” technology, putting it in direct competition.

The UK digital industry, under the guidance of the Internet Advertising Bureau, is to submit a set of proposals to the EU demonstrating that self-regulation and best practice around the use of data is effective in delivering transparency and privacy for internet users.

This story first appeared on

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