Behavior V. Demographic

By offering demographic data to marketers, is Google yet again showing the way in how companies will buy advertising online?
Heather Green

John Battelle's post on Google's AdWords service offering demographic data, such as age or income, to advertisers to help them with their purchases, reminds me of a recent conversation I had.

Tracey L. Scheppach, a vice president at ad agency Starcom thinks that, while the trend online has been to help advertisers find the right audiences using behavioral data (what Web page someone looks at, how often they visit a site, where they go as they surf online), demographic data is actually what will win out in the end online.

Why? She says the direct marketing model (think catalogs) has been to look at people through demographic data and that it's a more efficient way to buy ads. She thinks that since the focus is on paying for performance online and metrics of how ad campaigns do, Web sites will do more to figure out who demographically they're serving. How? Probably through cookies or surveys of audiencs.

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