Behavioral Profiling

Database marketing has become a core strategy for companies targeting teens, a linchpin of many digital media campaigns—not only on the Internet, but also on cell phones, video games, and other new platforms.1 Marketers can compile a detailed profile of each customer, including demographic data, purchasing behavior, responses to advertising messages, and even the extent and nature of social networks. Marketers use the information to create messages tailored to the psychographic and behavioral patterns of the individual.


1 The 1998 Children's Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) has created some safeguards in the digital marketing arena, forbidding marketers from soliciting personally identifiable information from children under the age of 13 without prior parental permission. For a case history of COPPA and its impact, see Kathryn C. Montgomery, Generation Digital: Politics, Commerce, and Childhood in the Age of the Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2007. See also Jeff Chester, Digital Destiny: New Media and the Future of Democracy. New York: The New Press, 2007.

2 Dawn Anfuso, "Pepsi's John Vail," iMedia Connection, 1 Sept. 2005, (viewed 28 Mar. 2007).

3 Jeff Zabin, "Cracking the Code on Next-Generation Code Promotions," Chief Marketer, 15 Sept. 2006, (viewed 28 Mar. 2007). Jeff Zabin, Pareto Rules, 26 Sept. 2006, (viewed 28 Mar. 2007).