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Most critics agree that Behavioural Targeting is more effective than Contextual Targeting, but these results from Adrants show the extent of the effectiveness.

First lets recap on the difference between Behavioural and Contextual Targeting.

Contextual Targeting relates advertising to the context of what content it is associated with. E.g. showing a car advertisement beside a story about new road improvements, or a new tennis racquet in a tennis magazine. Behavioural Targeting relates to the behaviour of the person who is consuming the content. This means that the ads are served up based on the consumer rather than the content which is being consumed.

The study by Next Century Media across 1146 respondents for Panasonic Plasma TV’s gave these results for Behavioural Targeting when compared to Contextual.
1. Behavioural Targeting Reached 50.3% more imminent buyers
2. Behavioural Targeting Cost 50% less to reach the same quantity
3. Behavioural Targeting ads showed a 67.6% higher preference for Panasonic brand
4. A 168.9% advantage in terms of increasing the likelihood of buying the Panasonic brand.
5. 63.1% increase in unaided brand awareness (3.45 x greater than contextual targeting)

Perspective: Whilst these results are impressive for those that favour Behavioural targeting, Contextual Targeting still has a place when you don’t know the behaviour of the person consuming the content. But the advantages of behavioural targeting highlight the point that whether you are recruiting candidates for marketing research, or building a loyalty database, it’s important to gather behavioural data.