Behavioral data are all types of data collected about an individual’s behavior for marketing purposes. In a digital marketing context, behavioral data are mainly collected online but they can also come from offline sources.
Some kinds of behavioral data are:
data collected on behavioral ad networks (browsing and reactions towards ads)
behavioral data collected on a website
comments and activity on social media websites
Behavioral data can be used for ad targeting and online personalization. They can be tied to identified individuals or to anonymous profiles. The goal is usually to identify interests or to know at what stage of the purchase journey a consumer is.
In an advertising context, behavioral data add value to ad inventories and ad impressions on ad-exchanges. See the concept of audience targeting for more details.
At a website level, it can be used to personalize offers and contents on the website or in emails.
Behavioral data collection raises privacy issues as it is not always transparent for web users.
For more details see behavioral targeting.