Consumers Are Getting Savvier About Behavioral Targeting

There is a clothing store, Syms, that has forever had the tagline for their advertising “An Educated Consumer Is Our Best Customer”. A noble idea indeed and one that implies that the more a consumer knows about what they are looking to do the better decisions they will make. In the retail industry, that can make a lot of sense and can help the right retailer.

Now, take that same mindset to the behavioral targeting world and there may be some consternation at the idea of a consumer knowing just how much advertisers know about them. This semi-secretive agenda is the game that behavioral advertisers and providers have to play all the time because the perfect world for them would be one where the consumer doesn’t know squat about what an advertiser knows about them and doesn’t care.

A recent Harris study as reported by eMarketer shows that consumers are indeed becoming more educated.

This continued educating of the online consumer is also starting to shape their views of the online advertising world and just how they interact with it. The following chart shows just how widespread the “I’m not giving information to you” mindset is spreading.

As this awareness continues to grow it is likely so will the sentiment to keep things as private as possible even if that privacy is a mere illusion (which let’s face it, it is). Advertisers are going to need to be much more aware of the level of consumer knowledge about just how they get their messages in front of the right people at the right time.

Would you say that in the behavioral targeting world, an educated consumer is the best customer?

Frank Reed is the managing editor of Marketing Pilgrim. He also provides consulting, speaking and education services relating to local Internet marketing through Local Basix. Frank contributes weekly to Mike Moran’s Biznology blog and he writes even less frequently at his original home base, Frank Thinking About Internet Marketing.

This article originally appeared in Marketing Pilgrim.