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Women May Welcome Targeting

Tailored ads provide valuable, relevant info to female Web users

Perception is everything when it comes to targeted advertising. Web users must feel comfortable with targeting for the practice to pay off for marketers, and many don’t. March 2010 research from predictive behavioral targeting services company Q Interactive suggests that women have positive perceptions of targeting and want to see more of it.

The vast majority of female Internet users surveyed wanted more targeted offers from trusted brands. Nearly two-thirds of those polled said they thought it was “cool” when they saw an online ad that was tailored to their interests, compared with only 10.8% who thought it was “weird.”

“Women, who are so entrenched online, are creating new expectations of brands, agencies and marketers,” said Emily Girolamo, vice president of marketing and corporate communications at Q Interactive, in a statement. “They are past any fear or suspicion when they get a targeted ad online—and now just expect, want and seek out brands online with meaning for their busy lives.”

More than one-half of women surveyed said they formed relationships with brands and Websites, indicating that a pre-existing level of trust may be important for ad targeting. Nearly two-fifths of respondents said they considered brands “good partners” that sent them relevant information they needed and used, while another one-fifth said brands were straightforward about deals and offers.

The top way for brands to win a good relationship with women was to give them things such as deals, following by getting to know them and providing them with valuable information. Discounts are a major reason people appreciate advertising in general, targeted or otherwise.

“A number of surveys reveal significantly divergent perspectives among consumers about the intersection of privacy, data collected about them and their relationship with targeted online advertising,” said David Hallerman, eMarketer senior analyst and author of the report “Audience Ad Targeting: Data and Privacy Issues.”

“So, it’s not surprising that survey results from Q Interactive show great acceptance of targeted offers from brands, since the company sells behavioral targeting services,” said Mr. Hallerman. “And at the same time, offers such as discounts and deals appeal to most consumers, as a recent survey from Econsultancy also shows.”

Check out today’s other article, “Video E-Commerce: Beyond the Experimentation Stage.”

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