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Demystifying Behavioral Targeting Technology and its Practical Applications

Eric Frias, president of MeMedia online advertising company comments on the possibilities and limitations of the new buzzword in ad-targeting.


Portada: How do you respond to the opinion that good multiple regression
behavioral targeting—which looks at users’ past behavior to determine the best ad to serve them at a given moment—requires more data than most websites have about their users in order to be truly effective?

Eric Frias: I agree that to effectively deliver behavioral targeting an extensive Network must be in place. The challenge is to reach users surfing the web that has not visited your property. To truly deliver behavioral targeting you would need to be located on the desktop (MeMedia's desktop platform). For MeMedia, therein lies the opportunity. We have technology that uses real time data (not just historical data as most BT companies) to determine/predict the best ad to show. Over time, our real-time capability gets smarter and more accurate.

Portada: What are the biggest challenges facing companies that specialize in behavioral targeting? Are there any challenges unique to the Hispanic market?

Eric Frias: Convincing advertisers that BT works and to remove the confusion the industry has created around what is BT and how it should or should not work. Once they understand the fundamentals of BT and run campaigns with us they usually keep coming back because we ultimately deliver the best performance. In the Hispanic market knowing which generation and dominant language has been a challenge but with BT it can solve many concerns an advertiser may have to reaching the right consumer.

Portada: How do privacy concerns figure into the use of behavioral targeting technology?

Eric Frias: We are not so concerned since we don’t collect/store data on the server. We use real time proprietary server analysis software to determine the best ad to show based on context and behavior. Companies that store large amounts of data should be concerned. Because of our process and standards we have earned "Truste" certification.

Portada: What are the limitations of behavioral targeting technology?

Eric Frias: Nothing is perfect. It's probably not accurate to assume that all 40 year old males who are married buy Christmas presents for their wife the week before Christmas. Also if a user visits 1 or 2 Spanish web properties that they are Hispanic or Spanish dominant.

Portada: What do you see as the greatest opportunities presented by this technology?

Eric Frias:

1) Superior campaign performance which is what keeps clients happy.

2) To deliver BT across modes of communications–that is desktop applications, web, mobile devices, and eventually set-top boxes. Each mode has unique user behavioral characteristics that need to be accounted for and considered when users travel across modes when interacting with their digital media. To identify and reach a user across modes will be a powerful opportunity for advertisers.

Related Article: Digital Media Debate: The Promise of Behavioral Advertising in the Hispanic Market 

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