Set online targets

The recent report published by Addvantage and YouGov (Keeping a safe distance builds consumer trust – MW 1 April), raises some interesting points with regards to the effect behavioural targeting has on different age groups, and consumer attitudes towards behavioural targeting.

Online ads
Online ads: Lack of good targeting

The research claims that 53% of respondents would choose to make behavioural targeted adverts go away if possible, and as an industry we need to consider why consumers feel this way and find ways to build confidence in the practice.

Advertisers are beginning to understand the value that targeted ads deliver, but it is the consumer’s lack of confidence in this medium that the industry needs to work together on. Doing so will increase consumer awareness of its benefits and ultimately their confidence in the practice.

The report states that almost half of the respondents (45%) have never seen a relevant advert based on their online behaviour. But I would suggest that this is not because behavioural targeting is ineffective, but rather that many advertisers are still failing to use intelligent targeting in their campaigns. While some advertisers continue to serve ads in a scatter-gun attempt to hit their target audiences, consumers will continue to see ads that are not relevant and reflective of their online behaviour.

The use of targeting technologies has improved dramatically during recent years and behavioural targeting among other approaches, such as demographic, contextual and geographical, is a powerful way for consumers to receive adverts that are meaningful to them. These targeting approaches combined with access to rich data insights are proven to drive campaign performance.

Additionally, any reputable online advertising network should adhere to the fact that while consumers benefit from the techniques used to make their web experience more enjoyable, they should also be able to exercise choice and opt out from receiving online advertising. Sites such as the one run by the IAB (, help provide internet users with further information on behavioural advertising and online privacy.

Ian Dowds, Specific Media


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