Relational Advertising Better Targets Viewers

Stephen Yagielowicz

When the topic of “relational advertising” is brought up, it’s usually in the context of its standard meaning; where relationship building is used to make brand loyalty more of a factor than price is, in the prospect’s purchasing decision. There is another aspect to the phrase, however, which describes how specific ads can target specific content or viewers in order to improve throughput and profitability.

The subtleties of this approach were most evident to this author on a recent visit to YouTube, where we listened to music videos playing in one Google Chrome browser tab, while we read lens reviews at the B&H photo/video website in another tab.

It’s ultimately about making it as easy as possible for users to find what they want.

It is something I have done many times before, but this time, there was a new twist:

When we switched tabs to search for a new song to play on YouTube, two ads appeared from B&H alongside my music choices; showcasing the two obscure lenses we was eyeing on the B&H site in the other tab — specialty items that would not be displayed to general consumers, or even general photography fans — making the only plausible reason being that Google is matching surfing to ad viewing in real time, so precisely that we cannot help but be impressed by this damn good marketing, based on live user behavior integration.

This isn’t a simple “Other buyers of A were also interested in B,” which Amazon had popularized and the rest of the online marketing world followed — but a more predictive approach that made me question just how far and wide my surfing habits are being shared — and with whom.

But rather than privacy issues, let’s look at the porn potential: Consider the adult web surfing patterns of many consumers, this author included, where a visit to a TGP or MGP (free porn sites notorious for “skimming” visitors off to unintended destinations) may be improved by thwarting these redirects, by opening the gallery links in a new tab and then manually skimming the redirect and affiliate code from the link; so that only the intended pages are loaded.

Could the content of one of these pages be used to influence the content of another?

One interesting application would be for a tube site to tie performers in a video to ads promoting the performer’s official paysite as well as upcoming live cam appearances — with an exit popup offering a discount coupon for the cam show. Video-on-demand ads for full length movies featuring these stars could also be presented and these ads can also be shown on successive pages as well — so a visitor viewing Suzy on one page would also find a link back to her when he’s moved on to Sally.

These processes automate and refine what is otherwise accomplished via “tagging,” but it’s ultimately about making it as easy as possible for users to find what they want.

Now we are wondering if the UPS business services ads that I’m seeing next to an article that we just finished reading are there because I earlier visited the UPS site to track an order — while those ads have a much higher likelihood of being coincidental than do the B&H ads in my previous example, I have to think that it’s more than just a random chance.

Perhaps you can do the same with your own sites and offers, to deliver more targeted advertising to your site’s visitors — while delivering more revenue to your bank account.