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Behavioral Targeting is the right way forward

A recent study on behavioral targeting demonstrates the evolution of consumer behavior and its impact on segmentation in consumer marketing. While criticisms of profile-based segmentations are nothing new, the study in question provides a quantified demonstration of the extent of change in this area. It also provides figures and details on the various so-called “Behavioral situation-based” targeting in the UK. However, despite marketers’ awareness of the weakness of profile-based targeting, the old segmentation methods are still the most widely used.

Behavioral situation-based targeting, an alternative to conventional segmentation

end of targeting
The fact that marketing is so fond of war metaphors is fascinating. Targets, campaigns… Beyond that, selecting the right target is always important – image produced with Midjourney and Adobe Illustrator.

This study on behavioral targeting brings many insights, as it demonstrates how fluctuating consumer behaviors are, due to the evolving economic situation.

Targeting by behavioral situation to better track changes

What we find most interesting, is what the authors call “situation-based targeting”. As Murielle de Boisseson, Marketing Manager France at Treasure Data, explains:

The results of this study confirm that hackneyed segmentation models that lock consumers into rigid, permanent groups simply no longer work

This study provides a useful, in-depth complement to a previous survey on customer experience stereotypes conducted by Adobe and analyzed in our columns.

Behavioral Targeting
Marketers are aware that traditional profiling-based targeting tools are no longer valid… but they continue to use them, nonetheless.

But this study provides even more insights.

It proposes a useful alternative to these traditional segmentation methods through what Treasure Data calls situation-based targeting. For the sake of clarity, we have formatted the study data into an infographic. We have included the characteristics of each of the main situations identified by the American software vendor’s study.

Behavioral situation-based targeting in the UK (vs.US)

Behavioral Situation in the UK
Behavioral Situation based targeting by the numbers – Click picture to enlarge 

This new, more behavioral segmentation reveals some particularly interesting points. The segmentation carried out by the study’s authors shows that different consumer groups are sensitive to different arguments. What’s more, the groups are fairly similar in size, demonstrating a real variety in behavior.

This study also tells us that certain groups (practical consumers 26% and Generation C 18%) are more sensitive to customer experience (CX) than others. At the same time, the figures demonstrate the importance of experience.

This underlines, that marketing generalizations are of little use. As in matter of fact, these groups are highly unstable, requiring the fine-tuning of the various segmentations over time.

However, the authors of the study point out that in France, marketers are less inclined to review these targeting methods than in the UK and USA. Furthermore, even if marketers in France, the UK, the USA and elsewhere are aware of the weaknesses of old segmentation models, the techniques they use remain traditional. Changing one’s habits is not as easy as it seems.

Many other interesting findings from this study can be found in the press release or eBook below.

About the methodology of this study

This behavioral targeting study is based on two surveys conducted by Opinium on behalf of Treasure Data. The first surveyed nationally representative samples in the UK and USA – 2,000 adults per country, for a total of 6,000 respondents – between July 3 and 6, 2023. The second surveyed 500 marketing decision-makers in B2C companies with more than 2 employees in France, the USA and the UK – 1,500 respondents in total – between July 3 and 13, 2023.

Download the Treasure Data study

Download the press release.

Dennis Rios Gramajo
Latest posts by Dennis Rios Gramajo (see all)

Dennis Rios Gramajo

I am a Global Management major at Arizona State University and I worked as a junior content writer for ------------- Je suis étudiant en management international à Arizona State University et ai travaillé comme rédacteur de contenu junior pour More »


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