Customer Profiling and Behavioral Targeting Study Guide
Customer Profiling and Behavioral Targeting Study Guide

Customer Profiling and Behavioral Targeting Study Guide

Source: University of Minnesota Libraries

Student Price: FREE

An information systems study guide from the University of Minnesota.

Customer Profiling and Behavioral Targeting - Study Guide

The communication between Web browser and Web server can identify IP address, the type of browser used, the computer type, its operating system, time and date of access, and duration of Web page visit, and can read and assign unique identifiers, called cookies—all of which can be used in customer profiling and ad targeting.

An IP address not only helps with geolocation; it can also be matched against other databases to identify the organization providing the user with Internet access (such as a firm or university), that organization’s industry, size, and related statistics.

A cookie is a unique line of identifying text, assigned and retrieved by a given Web server and stored on a computer by the browser, that can be used to build a profile associated with your Web activities. The most popular Web browsers allow you to block all cookies, block just third-party cookies, purge your cookie file, or even ask for your approval before accepting a cookie.

Discussion Questions


Give examples of how the ability to identify a surfer’s computer, browser, or operating system can be used to target tech ads.


Describe how IBM targeted ad delivery for its college recruiting efforts. What technologies were used? What was the impact on click-through rates?


What is a cookie? How are cookies used? Is a cookie a computer program? Which firms can read the cookies in your Web browser?


Does a cookie accurately identify a user? Why or why not?


What is the danger of checking the “remember me” box on a public Web browser?


What’s a third-party cookie? What kinds of firms might use these? How are they used?


How can users restrict cookie use on their Web browsers? What is the downside of blocking cookies?


Work with a faculty member and join the Google Online Marketing Challenge (held spring of every year—see Google offers ad credits for student teams to develop and run online ad campaigns for real clients and offers prizes for winning teams. Some of the experiences earned in the Google Challenge can translate to other ad networks as well; and first-hand client experience has helped many students secure jobs, internships, and even start their own businesses.

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14.7 Customer Profiling and Behavioral Targeting by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

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