A new study by the Network Advertising Initiative finds behaviorally targeted ads get double the clicks of non-targeted ads. (CNET) Better still, those that click on behaviorally targeted ads are three-times as likely to make a purchase.
Those are terrific numbers, but this sounds familiar. Remember in 2002 Gartner reported pop-ups earned double the clicks as standard banner ads. And we all know what happened to those.
Point is: It's going to take more than good results to save behavioral targeting from the same fate as pop-ups (or telemarketing, for that matter). As you probably know, a couple of bills are inching their way up Capitol Hill that could seriously impede behavioral targeting. And thus far, the effectiveness of targeting isn't the focus.
According to one expert: "Policy discussion around behaviorally-targeted advertising has lacked a critical foundation, because there had never been an empirical assessment of the value of such advertising." (Econsultancy)
Despite the risk of a "collision course with privacy advocates… maybe even congress," one company that isn't slowing down with behavioral targeting efforts is Google. The company announced this week they're moving their new behavioral targeting product out of beta. (All Things Digital)