Who Really Controls Customer Behaviour? Many marketing advocates focus their advertising on changing customer beliefs and attitudes. However, as once quoted by Harvard Business School professor John Quelch, advertising "should be geared to changing and reinforcing customer actions rather than customer attitude." The question is - does this adage hold true in the age of social media? With conversion analytics providing in-depth understanding of online behaviour, a single pay-per-click advertisement can encourage site visitors to engage in the exact behavior the Internet Marketer wants them to. The same holds true with other forms of media, albeit, the timeline to delivering the desired response is somewhat longer. Claims by consumers that media is disruptive, irrelevant and merely serves to clutter a channel or information or entertainment is a barrier to delivering a captive audience. Add social media to the mix, and the one time push advertising strategy is changing to a pull model. Online content creators are finding it increasingly difficult to command and control exact behaviors. Social media requires an deeper understanding of customer behavior. This is one of the key drivers behind one of the hottest trends in Web advertising - behavioral targeting. Behavioral targeting refers to delivering ads to individuals based on their previous surfing behavior. User site activity data is analysed to gain a better understanding as to what individual visitors are interested in and responding to. The information gained is used to create more engaging content around their areas of interest. UserID cookies can be used to serve tightly targeted content, moving the website media from a target model of 1:M to one or 1:1. However, if we look back at our premise that advertising can change behaviors, the reality is that this goal is extremely difficult to achieve. At best, marketers can influence behaviors with forms of social media like communities, in an effort to tap into peer pressure tactics, but the power is moving further and further away from the advertiser, and closer and closer to the consumer. Gail La Grouw is consulting director of Coded-Vision Consulting, architects of optimal corporate and marketing performance management. She specialises in business intelligence and business performance technology and is author of The Logical Organization: A Strategic Guide To Driving Corporate Performance Using Business Intelligence.