When behavioral targeting was pretty new a few years ago, it was like a shiny new gadget. Behavioral marketing was a must-have for online advertisers who were early adopters or fast followers. Because there were only a few providers, highly relevant advertising stood out in a sea of untargeted or demo targeted ads. The results were often spectacular by comparison to other display media efforts.

Never before did we have the opportunity to respond to consumer actions with direct and relevant messaging. Case studies were written. Stories were told at conferences about the exceptional returns delivered by this smart technique. Fast followers were quickly followed by the masses. At the same time providers jumped on board to meet the growing need. Many, many providers. Consumers now get many more behaviorally targeted ad impressions. More relevant ad messaging, timing, and placement should be a positive thing but sheer volume may have dulled the impact of the original shiny new behavioral ads just a bit.

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