So if there were some type of celebrity match 'show down', SEO would at the moment win against behavioural marketing. SEO is for many just a buzzword, to throw in front of the client without understanding what it entails, in the same way that mentioning Twitter is the hip thing to do at the moment.
But when clients start to understand that most SEO efforts are far more difficult to analyse from an ROI perspective than behavioural marketing, the latter being far easier to analyse when used properly, this should change.
When you realise that the technology exists to tailor content 'on the fly' to a visitor of your web site that can try to learn click by click or even by the movement of the mouse what a visitor is interested in, and subsequently serve them more appropriate content, you shudder to think what is coming next. I was interviewed and blown away by a company called Touch Clarity that was gobbled up by Omniture several years ago, and still wonder whether I should have pushed forward with them to this day but hey life is full of surprises. 😉
You can easily see how serving content will not only help companies spend their money more efficiently (both ad and site development using behavioural targeting) but should also provide them with better analytical data to better understand their clients. Kind of explains why Omniture invested in a company like Touch Clarity. But only time will tell whether Behavioural targeting (or BT among friends) will win the competition with SEO.
Note: just read that the Marketing Sherpa report has behavioural marketing placed just below SEO in terms of efficiency. Funny story when trying to find out more information about it, the page I was served stopped me from getting to the site.