Digital advertising generates annual revenues of 41.9 billion euros in Europe. A growing percentage of these revenues and the underlying growth are attributable to the use of behavioural information. Data is fundamentally transforming the way brands implement their digital marketing strategies.

But what are behavioural data? It’s a marketing method that involves gathering data from a variety of sources about the potential customer’s online browsing and shopping behaviours. This information helps create content that is relevant to that specific user’s habits and interests.

How does it work? First, data feed workflow or transactional automation mechanisms making actions aimed at consumers more effective and efficient. Also, thanks to technology (personalization platforms, for example), customized content can be offered to users individually in milliseconds, without cumbersome manual processes.

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Secondly, the data allow consumers to connect with brands in a way that is more relevant to their circumstances and experiences. Behavioural data, which could include on-site and off-site navigation, purchasing behaviour and signals of intent, allow companies to adapt their messages and reach their users at the right time.

As people’s tastes and interests diversified, traditional criteria for segmenting consumers (age groups or income levels) have become insufficient. Behavioural data allow brands to identify and describe new groups of consumers, such as “high spenders”, “discounts hunters”, etc.

The use of behavioural data: growth and conversion

Digital advertising is expected to grow up to 106% thanks to the use of behavioural data. In fact, studies state that behavioural targeting supports €10.6 billion in Europe’s advertising market.

The United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France are the leading markets when it comes to behavioural data. However, the implementation of this method in southern and eastern Europe will experiment a grow up to 70% in the next five years. Once implemented, personalization will become increasingly present and brands must find effective ways of differentiation.

Also, the use of behavioural data positively influences conversion rates. Custom messages that take this information into account have a higher click rate. When it comes to remarketing, the click-through rate is 10.8 times higher.

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Behavioural targeting and privacy

Behavioural data personalize messages to individual consumers based on their specific purchase interests and characteristics. The gathering of this information involves a series of technologies. Those that collect and organize click flow data, develop storage structures and apply algorithms to discover browsing and purchasing patterns.

“Privacy is the claim of individuals, groups or institutions to determine for themselves when, how and to what extent information about them is communicated to others”. (Westin, 1967).

Trust is an important component of eCommerce, and lack of trust leads to the loss of customers and business opportunities. Trust can influence the management of privacy, and breaches of privacy can damage trust. It’s a complex but mutually dependent interaction.

If you want an effective relationship with your customers, you must communicate -with transparency- the purpose of the use of their data, from notifications about cookies to the acceptance of marketing communications. The power of behavioural segmentation is, and will always be, contingent upon the trust of your customers.