Behavioral targeting is defined as “a marketing technique that segments audiences based on behaviors rather than just demographic parameters.”
Simply put, website owners can use the data collected from user behavior to create profiles and hyper-target future advertising at specific groups of customers. A relatively new technique, behavioral targeting allows brands and marketers to engage customers and rise above more traditional strategies.
If you’d like to learn more about the definition of behavioral targeting—what it is, how it’s done, and what data it involves—read our blog post here.
Alternatively, if you’d like to learn about six brands that are killing it with behavioral targeting (and some actionable tips you can use for your website too), read on.
Let’s dive in.
The Benefits of Behavioral Marketing
- Relevancy: By analyzing a customer’s past behavior, you can create more relevant ads to give users a better (and less spammy) experience.
- Efficiency: Targeting users who’ve shown an interest in your products/services ensures you spend your budget more efficiently.
- Improved ROI: Increasing the relevancy and efficiency of ads will, in turn, lead to a better ROI.
You can use retargeting adverts to show adverts to your website users that are tailored to their actions on your website. Both Facebook and Google offer retargeting adverts. Retargeting adverts are an excellent way to encourage a website visitor to return to your website by showing the relevant ad based on their past behavior. Here’s how a couple of large brands use retargeting adverts to increase sales:
Neutrogena, a well-known beauty brand, used customers’ past shopping cart behavior to increase sales. Knowing that 75% of its customers were purchasing products from one segment of its range, Neutrogena decided to take action to increase the number of products purchased by existing customers.
The company used historic shopping cart data to create product pairings: products that went well together and also reflected historic customer buying patterns — think mascara and eye make-up remover, for example.
Armed with customers’ purchase behaviors, Neutrogena created banner adverts and videos displaying the product pairing, product information, and – last but not least – coupons to encourage sales.
Finally, these product pairing adverts were displayed to customers based on their past purchasing patterns.
The results speak for themselves. Neutrogena got a £5.84 return on advertising spend (ROAS) and exceeded its own benchmark by 289%.
This luxury male watch brand used its users’ website behaviors and Facebook retargeting adverts to increase sales and brand awareness.
The campaign segmented the company’s existing website users into three groups:
- People who had added an item to their baskets
- People who had viewed specific items
- People who had visited the website
As well as designing specific adverts for each group, Aurum Brothers tested different ad settings such as bid options and ad objectives.
Facebook retargeting based on customer behavior was highly successful for the company. They reported 100% increases month on month and an increase of 50% in revenue.
Behavioral Email Marketing
One example of behavioral marketing is behaviorally targeted email campaigns. Email campaigns can be triggered by actions taken on a website, such as subscribing to a newsletter, adding an item to the cart, or viewing the sales page.
Here’s an example of behavioral email marketing in real life:
A clever way to use behavioral targeting is to segment your customers based on their stage in the buying cycle, and then retarget them with email campaigns specific to their shopping journey.
And that’s exactly what clothing brand Closet London did.
The company split its customer base into four groups based on their past purchases and implemented email marketing workflows specific to each group. The groups were:
- one-time purchases,
- repeat purchases,
- loyal customers, and
- dormant customers.
If a customer is categorized as a dormant customer, they will be sent an email about the latest collection. Then, if no conversion takes place within two weeks, the brand encourages the user to re-engage by emailing them a discount offer.
But Closet London doesn’t stop there. The clever clothing brand also sends a variety of other email campaigns tailored to both new users (e.g. a welcome email campaign) and past customers (e.g. an email workflow based on the items they’ve purchased in the past).
If you’re concerned that too many emails may annoy your customers, don’t be.
By segmenting customers based on their actions on your website, you ensure that you’re sending well-timed, relevant, and useful emails to the correct segmentation of your customers.
Do it successfully and you might get results like Closet London — an increase in revenue of 2900%.
By using location-based advertising (LBA) you can adapt your marketing message based on where your target consumers are geographically.
It even allows you to tailor your message based on the proximity to stores, the weather, transport routes, and so on. This means that you can create messages that make sense, given the location or the weather they are experiencing.
Here are some examples of brands using location-based advertising to generate sales and build brand awareness:
Timberland wanted to drive a younger demographic of customers to visit its physical stores and stockists.
Timberland used a combination of data, including whether a user had recently visited a brick and mortar store and how close they were to a store at the time.
The brand used technology to draw polygons around Timberland stores to target people in the “mind-set to purchase footwear.”
The campaign results showed an increase in store visits by 6.2%, with, notably, 20% of these visits within 24 hours of the user viewing the advertising campaign.
We’ve already discussed how Neutrogena used customers’ past shopping cart behaviors to increase its sales, so we know that the beauty brand is no stranger to behavioral targeting.
However, its next strategy – to advertise a new sunscreen – was rather ingenious.
Not happy to only target customers based on weather forecast apps, Neutrogena used real-time UV conditions, the time of day, and the proximity to shops selling Neutrogena to target potential customers.
Imagine browsing your phone on an unexpectedly hot summer’s day. You flick through Facebook and see a Neutrogena advert. You head to your nearest store and, surprise, surprise, it sells Neutrogena.
Which sunscreen will you purchase? I’m going to bet it’s Neutrogena.
Again, the results are stellar. Within a couple of months, the campaign increased awareness of the sunscreen from zero to 63% and increased purchase intent to more than 40%.
Suggested selling is simply offering choices based on items that customers have already purchased. Suggested selling can come in the form of upselling or cross-selling, neither of which are new to the retail world.
No article about suggested selling would be complete without discussing Amazon, arguably the Godfather of this technique.
According to this source, more than a third of Amazon’s revenue comes from its recommendation engine.
That’s massive, but how does it work? Well, in a handful of ways.
Recommended for You
On Amazon’s home page, you can click on a “Your Recommendations” link. This directs you to a page full of products recommended just for you. By suggesting a selection of products from the categories you’ve already viewed, Amazon aims to encourage you to click and buy additional items.
Frequently Bought Together
By adding a ‘frequently bought together’ section below your cart, Amazon successfully manages to increase your order value.
Amazon also shows you a history of the items you’ve purchased on Amazon. The fact that you’ve already viewed it signals that you’ve previously been interested in purchasing it, so it’s an easy way for Amazon to remind you of the product.
Sunuva may be a less well-known brand on the list, but its use of behavioral targeting has generated excellent results.
This UK-based kid’s clothing company wanted to increase sales, but with a small team, whatever the solution, it needed to be automated and easy to implement.
One of the core elements to increase sales was to focus on and reduce cart abandonment rates.
After a website redesign, Sunuva was able to use browsing behavior and real-time crowd-sourced data from other visitors.
This enabled the company to present its website visitors with relevant product recommendations, as well as email campaigns with content tailored to the customer, instead of generic offers.
Remarkably, the changes increased turnover by nearly 9% from the very first day.
Getting Started with Behavioral Marketing
Behavioral marketing is a relatively new and extremely powerful way to carry out your marketing strategy. It uses the behaviors of your website visitors and customers to create highly relevant content that encourages them to make a purchase at your website or even in your online store.
This article has discussed some examples of brands successfully using behavioral marketing, but now it’s over to you to try it out for yourself.
Start by choosing one of the tactics shown in this article and see how it can make your advertising more relevant and successful.