Behavioural Targeting: Far Beyond Segmentation

When we talk about user base segmentation, most people can only think about segmentation by demographic variables: sex, age, religion, etc. Even though this kind of segmentation is useful, particularly if the basis for comparison is a campaign with no segmentation at all, the benchmark variables used are too generic and do not provide a realistic view of user needs and interests.

Being realistic, demographic segmentation has never really defined anyone. Just being a man aged 25 to 35 with a medium/high purchasing power may make you more likely to buy a top-of-the-range smartphone than a cheap one, but being in that segment doesn’t mean that you will always prefer to buy more expensive products, nor will not being in the segment prevent you from buying an iPhone.

What really does define us our behaviour in a physical or online store. If a user, regardless of his or her purchasing power, always buys the cheapest products that meet his or her needs, he or she is proving  to have the profile of a pragmatic person who likes to save, and it will be hard to persuade that user to cough up €700 on a smartphone. Or if a person with low purchasing power always buys more expensive, high-quality products when he or she comes to the store, that user will have that profile regardless of what his or her demographic data say.

The fact is that we cannot find our purchasers’ motivations, but we can thoroughly analyse their behaviour patterns and purchases in order to launch marketing campaigns, in and outside our website, which maximise their effectiveness by being targeted on the basis of user behaviour, not other variables that provide less knowledge about users. And here is when Behavioural Targeting comes into play.

What is Behavioural Targeting?

Behavioural Targeting is segmentation based on user behaviour. So a Behavioural Targeting tool should enable you to segment your users on the basis of variables related to their behaviour, such as the number of visits to the store, which products have been bought, which categories they prefer, whether they have registered as users, etc. Each behaviour-based segments then serves to define an action to be performed.

In order to make maximum use of the Behavioural Targeting tool used,  it should:

  • Make it possible to very easily create user segments on the basis of behaviour. The previous image shows how in the BrainSINS Behavioural Targeting tool creating a segment is as easy as dragging the behaviours expected of it. In this case, we are seeking recurring users who have an abandoned shopping cart and have logged on through a newsletter link.
  • Make it possible to define the actions to be carried out with regard to each segment. In the previous example, the idea is to show a specific banner to a certain user segment, as part of a campaign aimed at having them check out their shopping cart.

In the next posts we will examine more closely the type of variables that can be used for behavioural segmentation, as well as the almost endless possible actions that can be generated by this kind of tool.

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