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Posts Tagged ‘Behavioral Targeting’

Online Behavioral Advertising Networks Must Play by New Rules

Posted on: December 19th, 2008 by Joe Giordano No Comments

Network Advertising Initiative releases new guidelines for Online Behavioral Advertising Networks.

Network Advertising Initiative

For the first time in nearly eight years, the self regulatory group Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) has established a new code of conduct for their members. Consisting of many of the largest behavioral advertising networks in the world, including, Google, Yahoo, and many more, the NAI is responsible for setting the standards that guide the entire online advertising industry.

The new standards are meant to keep up with the ever changing behavioral advertising technologies and provide a framework for ensuring that consumers can maintain their privacy while still allowing advertisers to target them effectively.

The standards that all of the advertisers must adhere to according to the new NAI guidelines are:

  • Advertisers must collect information anonymously. This means that names, addresses, and other personal information must not be stored.
  • People must be informed about behavioral targeting and be given the opportunity to opt out.
  • Explicit consent must be given for advertisers to use sensitive personal information even if that information is considered anonymous.
  • Advertisers must be given parental consent to target anyone below the age of 13.
  • Advertisers must not retain collected data for longer than necessary.

For a complete list of guidelines visit the 2008 NAI Principles Code of Conduct.

How to Use Behavioral Targeting and Personalization Without Invading User Privacy

Posted on: August 11th, 2008 by Joe Giordano No Comments

Online Marketing with RSS Ray and announces a new episode that you do not want to miss.

 Meyar Sheik, CEO & President of Certona

Show Date: August 13th, 2008 at 6 PM Eastern 3 PM Pacific

Show Topic: How To Use Behavioral Targeting and Personalization Without Invading User Privacy

Show Guest: Meyar Sheik , CEO & President of Certona

How to Listen: Live on or available by Podcast on iTunes or by RSS Feed.

Guest Biography: Meyar Sheik co-founded Certona as its CEO & President in January of 2004. Meyar is a seasoned software industry executive with over 23 years of experience. Since 2000, Meyar was an early web analytics pioneer working with some of the largest sites on the Internet in the areas of web analytics, e-commerce, personalization and real-time optimization. Prior to founding Certona, Meyar was CMO & COO of WebSideStory, Inc., a pioneer in real-time web analytics (now part of Omniture). Meyar has a BS in Electrical Engineering from New York Institute of Technology and an MBA from Rochester Institute of Technology.

Sample Questions:

Why is behavioral targeting important to online marketers?

How do click through rates for ads using behavioral targeting compare to those without it?

Some see behavioral targeting as an intrusion of privacy. How can marketers avoid this stigma?

RSS Ray’s Comments:

“Personalization and behavioral targeting is an absolutely fantastic way to increase sales and profits. If Meyar has found a way to alleviate privacy concerns while still getting fantastic returns then I can’t wait to hear it.”

Performing the Impossible: Giving Customers What They Want With the Privacy They Deserve

Posted on: August 8th, 2008 by Joe Giordano 1 Comment

Next week’s guest Meyar Sheik, CEO/Co-Founder of Certona asked us to post this interesting article on using self-optimizing behavioral targeting technology for e-commerce success. Be sure to listen to Meyar live next Wednesday at 6 PM Eastern, 3 PM Pacific on Online Marketing with RSS Ray.

Certona Logo

Almost from the beginning, e-commerce and Internet marketing professionals have been grappling with two, seemingly mutually-exclusive initiatives: how to personalize online content for each visitor while preserving their right to privacy. Many have given up, relying instead on opt-in initiatives such as newsletters, RSS alerts and social network tools. Others spend enormous time and money to monitor and manually update their sites at great expense and lower profit margins. Neither one of those options delivers sustainable results.

In response, leading technology firms are introducing Web-based “self-optimizing” behavioral targeting and personalization solutions that help firms of all sizes increase online conversions, average order value and online revenues while still protecting the visitor’s right to privacy.

How it works
Instead of requiring demographic or classification information, these dynamic systems automatically generate representations of visitors and products solely from current user interaction on the Web site. Self-optimizing tools leverages the traffic patters of visitors to provide the most relevant Web experience possible without the need for any personal information, third-party cookies or special interaction with the individual. Doing so allows retailers to transparently target each visitor individually, without compromising their privacy.

This process is the most effective way to deliver relevant content because consumers’ present behaviors on the site are the most accurate representation of their interests and needs at that time, not the demographic information that they filled out months ago. As a result, self-optimizing behavioral targeting solutions make it possible to enhance a site’s product cross-sell/up sell and content personalization capabilities while preserving the visitor’s right to privacy. These types of solutions also provide an enhanced Web experience for the customer by not requiring them to fill out annoying pop-up surveys or lengthy, intrusive online registration profiles. Additionally, the more advanced self-optimizing systems do not track visitors’ behavior from site to site.

Case in point – a leading American catalog merchant and online retailer implemented a third-party, self-optimizing behavior targeting and personalization solution just prior to the 2007 holiday season. Since then, the company’s e-commerce site has witnessed a more than 15 percent increase in converted online visitors and a more than 18 percent rise in direct revenue contributions from automated product recommendations and merchandising. Moreover, the system provides higher click-through rates on content as well as increased conversions, site stickiness and repeat purchases while eliminating the tedious, labor-intensive task of manually generating numerous relevant product recommendations and personalized promotions to online visitors.

Other retailers have claimed that such systems account for 20 percent of their online revenues, with the average order value from visitors who acted upon the platform’s automated personalized recommendations being over 60 percent greater than those who didn’t. Such testimonials speak clearly to the value that self-optimizing behavioral targeting and personalization solutions bring to an organization’s bottom line.

Intelligence benefits abound
Furthermore, self-optimizing behavioral targeting and personalization solutions provide significant intelligence-gathering capabilities to any organizations over other personalization methods, such as shopping basket analysis, expert systems, content analysis and collaborative filtering algorithms. By actually profiling the entire individual clickstream behavioral pattern, self-optimizing systems focus on the person-to-content affinities and are not just limited to content-to-content affinity modeling often represented by: people who bought this item also bought these items”.

Self-optimizing solutions are completely data driven as well, and thus able to process large and diverse transaction histories; even across product categories, cultures and languages. Furthermore, these types of systems do not rely upon any knowledge of the content other than the user’s interactions with it. This greatly simplifies integration and unified content profiles across all types, from text to multi-media. Self-optimizing behavioral targeting and personalization solutions can scale to large user bases and catalogs while providing acceptable runtime performance.

Apply to all types of environments
Because of their automated profiling, content neutrality and adaptive content indexing, these types of systems can be embedded into almost any environment that can capture online behavior; including e-commerce, search, content, e-mail, mobile and streaming media. Moreover, self-optimizing solutions allows like-minded visitors to be dynamically grouped together for predictive purposes, providing additional functionality to such applications as community radio, movie guides, gift registries and social shopping.

These types of systems can also be combined with other enterprise data to produce even broader predictive models of customer behavior. Doing so extends their benefits to off-line campaigns, such as direct mail, telemarketing, media advertising and customer loyalty marketing campaigns.

Benefits to any organization
Virtually all types of companies can see value from self-optimizing behavioral targeting and personalization solutions, and usually implement them in of days or weeks. Whether an organization sells products, publishes content or serves ads on its web site, their online customers and visitors want to see more relevant choices with less clutter. Companies that can understand their site visitors’ behaviors without invading their personal privacy and are able to instantly deliver what they need and what they like while building long-lasting, and profitable, relationships.

About the author: Meyar Sheik is CEO and Co-Founder of Certona Corporation, creator of Resonance®, a Web 2.0 optimization and personalization platform. E-mail him at

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