Behavioural Targeting


Behavioural targeting is a marketing method to use consumer activities to strengthen their advertising campaigns.


In the competitive market, brands are required to reach their audience with highly personalised messaging. But to increase the engagement, it is important for brands to know how their audience interacts with the brand.

To observe interaction, digital or online marketing activities are all backed by AI and ML tools. These tools make marketing convenient for the brands as they understand what the users are actually looking for.

Behavioural targeting is noting people’s actions to find out which message or advertisements will resonate with them. The information about the user’s behaviour is stored as data.

In the days of traditional marketing, a lot of resources like money and efforts were wasted because marketers did not know whom to target and how much. But now the marketers are aware and they approach their audience by observing their behavioural data.

In today’s time, random marketing can be challenging for brands. The competition is high which is why adapting to new techniques of customer’s data management from studying behaviour can offer a higher conversion rate.

Behavioural targeting makes highly personalised marketing possible for the right time by using real-time information about actions about what visitors are doing on the website or application.

The main intent of using this technique is to deliver marketing messages to those who are interested in it. The data is based on purchase history, frequently visited websites, web searches, etc.

Behavioural data is about what people are doing on your website or with your campaigns.

Types of Behavioural Targeting

These are the types of behavioural targeting:

  • Website Engagement: You can target your audience when they are on your website by surfacing them with pop-ups, promotional ads, and links to other related content which interests them. It enhances the user-experience and engages the visitors for a time longer than usual.
  • Purchase Behaviour: Use purchase behaviour to target the audience and suggest them with similar products they would like to shop. It is a perfect example of recommending products based on the purchase behaviour. Knowing what lies in the cart of the customers can help to target the audience.
  • Campaign Engagement: Campaign engagement is sending emails to your target audience. You can know who opens your email and who doesn’t. This can help you organise the audience and you can resend the emails to non-openers and to people who engaged with the campaign email.
  • App Engagement: By observing the engagement of the individuals with the app, you can find out who is opening the app. You can then send personalised messages to the users. Like if the user has not opened the app, they can open it and the ones who have completed a stage can be congratulated for completing it.

Importance of behavioural targeting

Behavioural Targeting is important to engage the audience with the brand for a longer time. To engage the user of your website or app, personalised messaging is important.

↑ Message Personalisation = ↑ High Response

Personalised messages sent to the target audience at the right moment increases the likelihood that the audience engages more with the content.

Behavioural targeting is important for both consumers as well as businesses because:

  • Allows to send relevant content to the audience: Behavioural targeting makes it easier and faster for the audience to conduct online research and make purchase decisions.
  • Accurate decision making: Behavioural marketing allows the brand to make informed decisions because they know what exactly and when is the audience interacting with the brand.
  • Create contact profiles: Behavioural targeting allows companies to create customers profiles and organise them into different segments. It helps companies to serve the content that interests the customers.
  • Higher ROI: Personalised marketing encourages the customers to engage for a longer time. It increases the chances of higher ROI with the higher click-through and conversion rates.

How behavioural targeting works?

Process of behavioural targeting includes collecting data, sorting it and delivering customised messages to individual users. The three step process is explained below:

  • Data Collection

Data about customer’s behaviour is collected from different sources like mobile apps, mobile device data, third-party data parties, websites, CRMs, marketing survey companies, etc.

For example, a few websites use cookies to track data about the consumer behaviour, places at which they click the most. This data collected is stored in data management platforms to automate marketing systems.

  • Segmentation

Data segmentation is the second step where users are segmented based on their behaviour. Like people using Apple ipods and those using Android products can be segmented into different groups.

  • Targeting

The third step is targeting. In this step, advertisers choose a specific group. The aim of targeting the group is to have the most relevant users. The targeting is based on matching the interest and behaviour of the visitors. Targeting helps businesses with high conversion rates.


Neutrogena, a beauty brand, uses customer’s past shopping behaviour to push their sales ahead. 75% of the customers they had were making purchases from one segment of the products. The brand then used the past buying history and created product pairing. It increased the sales for them as the sales were made on behavioural targeting.


How does behavioural targeting work in marketing?

Behavioural targeting is the game of expanding business on the basis of the customer’s behavioural data like their buying history. This is how behavioural targeting works:

  • Cookies: Cookies are placed on the website of the users who visit the new website. These cookies are stored temporarily or permanently. It helps the website owner collect quite some sufficient data about the users.
  • User profile: After the user stays on the webpage, clicks ads and spends time, their behavioural data is collected.
  • Target market groups: After the user’s profile is created, companies can separate the users into different groups. The groups are made depending on the likes and dislikes, trends and interests. The company can then use the data for the target marketing.
  • Custom content is shared: When the groups are made, the users will only receive custom content and personalised ad materials. The information displayed will depend on past behaviours.

What are the advantages of behavioural targeting for advertisers?

These are the advantages of behavioural targeting for advertisers:

  • Better user engagement in terms that with behavioural targeting, more meaningful information is shared with the users.
  • More click-through rates as users spend more time on the website which increases the probability of ad clicks
  • Higher revenue comes from more ad clicks.
  • Better customer insights.
  • Improved conversions.

What are the benefits to the users when you talk of behavioural targeting?

These are the advantages the users will have from behavioural targeting:

  • Better user experience as they will see the content of their interests.
  • Higher efficiency because the ads and the recommendations on the website keep reminding the user about their past searches.
  • Receive product alerts through ads to keep the customers informed.
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