January 13, 2011, 11:49 AM

Ad targeting is set to rise

Nearly half of all retailers plan to boost spending.

Zak Stambor

Managing Editor

Lead Photo

While already widespread, ad targeting, in which ads are aimed at consumers based on their web-browsing behaviors, location or previous searches is on the rise, according to a new survey. 

85% of advertising agencies and marketers are using ad-targeting techniques, according to the survey released by AudienceScience, which helps online marketers reach targeted groups of consumers. The biannual “State of the Targeting Industry” study also found that nearly half plan to boost spending on the marketing method by more than $500,000 this year. That follows a 100% jump in advertisers’ spending on targeting in 2010.

“Audience targeting has entered the mainstream as an essential part of any successful marketing campaign,” says Marla Schimke, AudienceScience vice president of marketing.

That growth is due to the technique’s effectiveness, she says. 63% of the respondents using the technique say audience targeting has “demonstrably” increased revenue, a 23% jump from six months earlier.

However, there are challenges, such as the Commerce Department’s December proposal for an online privacy bill of rights, says the report. The report found that 64% of marketers say the industry has to be more transparent about their collection and use of data.

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