How Targeted Ads Change the Way We Think About Ourselves & Our Purchasing Decisions [New Researc


Behavioral marketing has been called creepy and an invasion of privacy, but new research is finding that it can actually change how people perceive themselves.

A study recently published in the Journal of Consumer Research by Rebecca Walker Reczek, Christopher Summers, and Robert Smith found that consumers adjust their self-perception when they view an ad that they believe has been targeted to them. The ad is seen as a type of flattery -- as long as it close to matching up with the consumer’s idea of himself -- causing purchasing intent to increase as he wants to “live up” to the brand's perception.

The team conducted four different studies to better understand how using behavioral targeting and social labels, such as sophisticated or outdoorsy, influences self-perception and purchase intent.

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