Behavioral Marketing

Behavioral marketing creates more targeted and personalized offers to customers and prospective customers based on the knowledge of actions they previously performed.

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What is Behavioral Marketing?

Behavioral marketing creates more targeted and personalized offers to customers and prospective customers based on the knowledge of actions they previously performed. Example actions include app installs, in-app activity, website visits and on-page actions. Behavioral data is recorded in cookies, using data such as IP address, browsing history and search history.

Behavioral marketing is the opposite of broad-based marketing, in which the same message and offer is broadcast to a large audience of people (e.g., email blasts, radio ads, TV commercials, billboard ads, etc.). While broad-based marketing is useful for brand awareness, behavioral marketing is effective for generating targeted messages and offers to the people most likely to convert. Behavioral marketing helps brands reach people who previously showed interest in their product, service or brand. 

What Are Examples of Behavioral Marketing?

One example of behavioral marketing is the suggested offers provided on e-commerce sites. Amazon is famous for its “People who bought this also bought…” personalization recommendations. It uses your behavior (i.e., products you’re browsing and products you purchased in the past) and combines that with the behavior of other Amazon customers (i.e., what they bought along with the product(s) you’re considering). 

Another example of behavioral marketing is retargeting, which enables brands to display banner ads to prospective customers if they leave your website without buying. Retargeting uses cookies to record data about your visit to a website. When users visit other sites across the web, they can be targeted with banner ads promoting your products and services. Based on data captured during their visit to your site, the retargeting ads can display the products they placed in their shopping cart, but didn’t purchase. 

While retargeting is an effective behavioral marketing tactic used by marketers today, upcoming changes will require the practice to be adjusted. Google’s decision to deprecate third-party cookies in 2023 will force retargeting platforms to find new solutions.

What Are Common Behaviors Used In Behavioral Marketing?

While behavioral marketing can be based on any type of online behavior, these are the most common behaviors used by marketers:

  • Location

A user’s location is inferred by the IP address they’re visiting from. Brands can use this intelligence to customize offers by language (i.e., based on country of origin), weather (i.e., based on warm weather or cold weather climates) or special offers (e.g., discounted tickets to a sporting event happening in the user’s local city).

  • Purchase history

Offers can be made to a customer based on the quantity and types of products purchased in the past.

  • New vs. returning visitor

The copy on your page or the wording of your offer can be customized based on whether they’re first-time or returning visitors.

  • Arrival context

How users arrive on your site tells you a lot about their frame of mind. If they came from a search engine, then they’re actively researching or shopping. On the other hand, if they came from a referral link, they may be earlier in the purchase process. Adjust the narrative on your page accordingly.

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