Radio frequency identification (RFID) and near field communication (NFC) chips will become "the new cookie" for mobile in the physical world. That's certainly an unexpected perspective, even hearing it from the mouth of Dean Donaldson, MediaMind global director of media innovation.
As the conversation about consumer privacy becomes more public and everyday users become more aware of the tracking and targeting techniques marketers are using both online and offline, can this itself affect consumer behavior? After all, most behavioral targeting has gone on under the radar for years. But as the tracking becomes more sophisticated and ubiquitous, what happens when users come to understand that simply by using the Web or calling a customer service representative, they are buying into a targeting economy?
A platform from Adchemy launched Wednesday to improve search engine marketing conversions predicts consumer intent to customize paid-search ads and landing pages. It doesn't follow consumers around collecting information through browser cookies, but it does collect search information to build word maps.
Jim Brock of PrivacyChoice.org discovered something interesting on his way to crafting privacy tools that consumers could use to monitor and opt out of tracking system. A good number of the consumers using his Privacy Widget, plug-in, and Privacy Bookmark tools really weren't opting out -- they just liked the transparency of it all.
Real-time bidding in online advertising continues to grow, forcing companies to get smarter about the benefits of precise ad targeting -- and could become a real force as an alternative to targeting Web site visitors by behavior.
I have been trying to be a good consumer and early adopter -- really I have. With Facebook, Foursquare, and now the mobile shopping app ShopKick on my smartphone, I keep trying to remind myself, check in, check in. Remember when you go into Starbucks or Best Buy, fire up that iPhone and check in, I keep telling myself. Get with the program. But you know what, usually I just fall into those same old disobedient patterns and go in and buy my oversized coffee, peruse the hardware shelves and Blu-ray racks, and don't realize until I get home that …
Wal-Mart typically leads the retail industry when it comes to implementing innovative technologies. Its IT department has been known to experiment with bleeding edge technology such as radio frequency identification (RFID) to track products from the distribution centers to warehouses and on to the store floors. It appears Wal-Mart has done it again by testing a technology on the edge.
As the controversies surrounding digital privacy become more public, the responses of media companies especially become more important and telling. I have always contended that despite the efforts of the ad infrastructure to erect self-regulatory regimes around privacy, it really is the publisher in the end who faces the consumer on these matters. Civilians just don't care or know who Rubicon Project, ValueClick or AudienceSciene are.
During the last decade of covering behavioral targeting online I have seen piles and piles of data mined from peoples' digital travels. The digital universe has helped surface countless audience affinities and statistical correlations that many of us never suspected. But there are some consumer behaviors that require no sophisticated data queries or cookie-dropping. They are as obvious as they are, alas, under-utilized. To wit: walk through the aisles of any grocery, big box, apparel or media retailer and count how many people are on their cell phones. Amazing, isn't it?