These days, people are more inclined than ever to ignore your ads. If they don’t already have some sort of adblock software installed, they’ve no doubt become used to the sidebar ads and native “sponsored” posts on the sites they frequent. The key to breaking through banner blindness is delivering relevant content to captive audiences, and behavioral targeting is the way to go.

Behavioral targeting, as Silverpop CEO Bill Nussey describes, is delivering “real-time, cross-channel, insanely relevant campaigns to one person at a time automatically driven by analytics of their actions, preferences and profiles.”

In other words, you’re analyzing the content people consume, where they’re finding the content, and the actions they take as a result. With this information, brands and marketers can deliver highly targeted advertisements and offers to the people most likely to click, engage and buy.

When it comes to video marketing, collecting behavioral data will enable advertisers to identify a brand’s most engaged consumers. Companies can target Internet users that consistently share content over social media, those who typically take action when served an ad, and other consumers that make related website visits/purchases.

Earned media and click-through rates are two of the most valuable metrics for video marketers. Reaching a targeted audience of socially active viewers will not only increase digital word-of-mouth advertising, but it will also maximize ROI.

In early 2013, Forrester Consulting conducted a study on Silverpop’s behalf and found that while targeting based on behavioral data is driving important KPIs, it remains a largely untapped marketing asset. Check out some of the findings Silverpop reported in a press release below:

  • When asked to assess the potential gain of taking specific actions with prospective customers based on their behaviors across channels, return on marketing investment and customer satisfaction/loyalty topped the list of overall perceived benefits for marketers, with 44% and 42%.
  • Forrester found that behavioral marketers are simply getting better results, with B2B behavioral marketers attributing 34% of their total sales pipeline to behavioral marketing—nearly 10% higher than their peers at 26%. Similarly, B2C behavioral marketers attributed 26% of their revenues achieved to their behavioral programs, with peers at just 21%.
  • With customer behavioral data, marketers can provide targeted content to drive buyer engagement and increase conversion rates. However, Forrester found that only 45% actually collect and consolidate it within a single, integrated database. While data—the lifeblood of effective marketing automation—is important, consolidating it into a single database makes it actionable in a very efficient way.

Despite its ability to increase engagement and ROI, the use of behavioral data has yet to become a common marketing practice. ExactTarget’s 2014 State of Marketing Report found that only 29% of marketers will prioritize collecting, measuring & utilizing behavior-based data this year—though behavioral targeting was the third most popular priority, behind driving increased conversion rates and increasing/improving brand awareness.

Similarly, Razorfish found that 76% of Marketing Executives do not utilize behavioral data in either segmentation analysis or targeting. The two biggest roadblocks limiting the use of behavioral data are the industry’s reluctance to adopt newer technology, processes and tools, and ability to successfully manage available data.

“Regardless of channel type, there is a huge difference between spending money on speaking to someone who is never going to buy your product or service versus investing in speaking to someone who is likely to convert or influence other converters,” said Pete Stein, CEO of Razorfish. “But you can’t know the difference between these two audiences without data. Knowing who you are reaching and how they respond to different tactics helps optimize marketing spend.”

It should be a widely accepted goal to create high-quality, personalized branded messages, especially when people are so prone to glazing over advertisements. As the availability of behavioral data grows and scalable data management platforms emerge, we should see an industry-wide shift in marketing priorities, with behavioral targeting at the forefront.

Read more: Behavioral Targeting – What is Possible vs. What is Right