In the online marketing world, behavioral targeting is one of the hottest topics around. ClickZ News previews the segmentation scheme developed by Microsoft for their adCenter service. They have developed 18 segments of online users based on their search behaviors and the websites they visit. They include:
Parents, new/expecting moms, mobile users, power users, gamers, and movie watchers (6). Car buying behaviors include general auto buyers and 'researchers' of luxury cars, sports cars, pick-up trucks, SUVs and passenger cars (6). For travel-related categories, there are segments for hotel, cruise, and airfare seekers (3). Financial categories include home buyers, credit card shoppers and personal investors (3).
Now if you're interested in buying targeted ads, you can choose to target one or more of these audience segments. Pretty interesting use of all that data they are collecting about us. And notice that the segments have been developed to respond to those 'segments' of online marketers who I presume are spending the most amounts of money (or could be). A nice example of the idea that you also need to segment 'who is critical to success.'
Creative social marketers, nonprofits and social change programs might certainly benefit from thinking about segments like these as they develop their programs and online strategies. Certain types of online behaviors 'clump' together just like they do in the rest of people's lives.