Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Behavioral Targeted Ads Found More Engaging than Contextual Ads

Tacoda, leading provider of behaviorally-targeted online advertising and Next Century Media, a media effectiveness firm, conducted research comparing behaviorally targeted ads to contextually-based ads.

Using eye tracking technology, the study showed that on first exposures to advertisements, behaviorally targeted advertisements generated an average of 17 percent more looks than contextual advertising. After the first exposure, this advantage increased to 54 percent more views.

What could this mean? Behavioral targeting may help advertisers engage consumers more often and for longer periods of time the more often the consumers are exposed to the advertisements!

This is the opposite of conventional marketing wisdom. How could behavioral targeting generate more looks than contextual targeting? According to Bill Harvey, Next Century Media:
It could be that there are just too many ads for the same product category attacking the user's eye in contextual targeting... On the other hand, when in the market for a product, and finding an ad for that product in a completely unrelated site, the user might react to the surprise of that unexpected event by looking at the ad.

Tacoda and Next Century Media are already planning their next research study. In the meantime, Tacoda's behavioral audience network currently delivers more than 128 million unique users monthly.

View complete report here.

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