This year, AudienceScience released the results of a commissioned study conducted on its behalf by JupiterResearch, a Forrester Research company, designed to measure the receptiveness of online shoppers to behavioral targeting. What is behavioral targeting? It's tracking a user's online activities to deliver advertising targeting to that user.

The top line conclusion drawn by the report is that online shoppers are more receptive to behaviorally targeted ads than they are to contextually targeted ads.

The survey asked participants to rate their level of engagement with online ads that were contextually related, and behaviorally targeted. 39 percent of respondents paid most attention to contextually targeted ads, a number that is actually down ten percent since 2007, while 65 percent paid most attention to behaviorally targeted ads.

"Since its inception, behavioral targeting has been an evolution of contextual advertising, and these findings are testament to its power to more effectively engage with consumers on their own level," says Marla R. Schimke, VP of Marketing, AudienceScience. "If we conduct the same study in a year, five years, ten years, I believe we'll see this already substantial gap between the two continue to widen as more and more brands and marketers realize that they can use behavioral targeting to specifically target their ideal customer."

The implications of this responsiveness data are far reaching as online shopping gains more and more ground every year. This study also found that 76 percent of the online population has shopped online, and that 55 percent of them shop online at least once per month, which is up 5 percent since 2007. Further, 47 percent of respondents connect more than three times during the research process and 55 percent will visit more than 5 sites per day.

"These numbers indicate that the typical shopping process involves a user traveling to multiple sites, multiple times, making the ability to communicate marketing messages to them no matter where they are online, all the more important," added Schimke. "That's why you see such high responsiveness numbers, and that's why you'll see the continued growth of behavioral targeting in years to come."