• Retail Top 100 2012, No. 11: Behavioral targeting

As yet another example of how the Amazon model continues to shape the evolution of the Web, the deluge of user-generated content — from product reviews and comments posted on news stories, to the glut of unguarded personal information offered up by users of Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, et al — amounts to a behavioral marketer’s dream come true. All that data, freely given, is rich in the sort of detail that behavioral marketers prize in selecting which advertising messages are displayed to that individual. The algorithms Amazon developed to suggest items of interest based on a particular user’s browsing habits and purchasing history may soon permeate the entire Internet. The challenge is to find the appropriate opportunities without seeming too invasive or behaving like a virtual stalker.

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