Knowledge opens minds and opportunities. Isn't that what your parents told you as you left for college to study marketing, advertising, sales or technology? So, why does it surprise you to learn consumers are less than ecstatic about behavioral targeting? After all, technology companies and advocacy groups have spent little to no time educating industry execs or the general public.
Publishers need to understand the power of data -- how to access it and what it reveals. A better understanding of your audience can maximize content and advertising results.
I have mixed thoughts about being targeted ads on my mobile phone. While I'm the first to admit my love for technology, and that my AT&T BlackBerry goes wherever I do, I'm a little sensitive to ad targeting, especially when Neiman Marcus serves up an ad to me somewhere across the Web after I've abandoned the shopping cart on their site. (As far as I can tell, they seem to be the only retail store following me.) So, how would you feel if an ad for a store you frequented online was served up on your mobile phone browser?
The notion of a "digital valet" has been in the air for a long time. In recent years I have heard marketers , semantic Internet researchers, and futurists all predict a "brain-like Web" that can create "concierge" services. In this model, our online browsing and shopping behaviors are layered on top of our social graph, connected to our contacts and calendars. In essence, the full integration of the pieces of our digital lives allow the "brain" to anticipate our next needs. I have heard marketers paint a future landscape in which a service recommends your family's next vacation because it …
If you're confused about the ad networks or technology companies offering behavioral targeting, Tatto Media CEO Lin Miao says you're not alone. Consolidation is on the horizon, he says, and "smoke and mirror behavioral shops" will fall by the wayside within the next 12 to 18 months.
Pop culture freaks, grad-students of the 90s and wiseasses everywhere will recall the satirical creation of the late last century, "Church of the SubGenius." This book and eventual Internet comical cult was designed as one of those deliberately crafted pop culture nonsense "cults" that its fans liked to pretend they understood. For the first time in a long time, "SubGenius" popped into my head as I perused the new personalization and content discovery features in Apple iTunes 9.0 and my iPhone. "SubGenius," I said to myself as I saw the weird recommendations it provided for new mobile applications as well …
BrightRoll just unveiled a program to target consumers with banner and streaming ads based on their behavior across the Web.
What a difference a summer makes in the arena of digital privacy. After years of hand-wringing, heel digging, and denials that a problem existed at all, the online advertising industry is now starting to work through tangible proposals for handling consumer and regulators' concerns about data.
Behavioral targeting companies could have done a better job naming and marketing their specialty. Perhaps people would have become a little more accepting and a little less squeamish, if they understood the technology and if BT had another name. Or, have privacy concerns become too overwhelming?