Digital Advertising – Are You Being Followed?

Posted: June 7, 2013 in Digital Advertising
Tags: , , , ,

As the digital world grows, people are changing the way they consume news and information. While some people still read the newspaper, read a magazine, listen to the radio or watch their favourite newscast on tv, more and more people using their desktop, tablet and mobile phone to find this information. This change has opened up new opportunities for advertisers, who can now deliver their online advertising messages to their target market better than ever before.

Here’s a video explaining online advertising targeting:

One form of advertising targeting is behavior targeting, which uses cookies to keep track of the websites you have visited. This allows advertisers to deliver their ad messages to users whose online activities reflect that of the advertiser’s target market. For example, if you are a new parent who has researched baby car seats online, don’t be surprised if diaper ads appear on the screen, even when you are on non-parent related websites.

Another form of behavior targeting is retargeting. For example, let’s say you are looking to book your next vacation and you have visited an airline carrier’s website to check pricing. Later, when you are visiting a different website, you are served an ad from that same airline carrier. That carrier is hoping that its ad will prompt you to make a purchase. This graphic from Matomy Market’s website illustrates retargeting well.

Matomy Market - Retargeting Illustration

Matomy Market – Retargeting Illustration

What do you think about behaviourally-targeted ads? Are they an intrusion to your privacy and you feel like Big Brother is watching you? Or do you find it convenient to have relevant ads delivered to you? Perhaps it doesn’t bother you at all.

This article by Andrea Fisherman explains how concern about behavioural targeting comes down to security and privacy issues. As consumer watchdog groups and government bodies decide how and if regulations on behavioural targeting should be put in place, many consumers try to minimize themselves from being targeted by deleting the cookies from their computer.

One thing is for sure. Behaviourally-targeted ads make advertisers happy, as they can target their message to the right people, assuring them better bang for their advertising dollar.

  1. So funny that you posted about this! My husband and I have been researching and booking a trip to Chicago this week and now when I log onto my Facebook, I see advertisements on the right side of the screen for tourism stuff in Chicago. Helpful but scary at the same time!

    • jyuen2013 says:

      What’s more scary is that there are even more ways that you can be targeted. For example, mobile ads can be delivered to you depending on your geographic location at the time (if your phone is GPS setting is enabled). Another example is you can be targeted by your job title. There are lots of ways for advertisers to find you!

  2. […] Digital Advertising – Are You Being Followed? ( […]

  3. ~ says:

    Great presentation — it seems like you are really comfortable public speaking. I also like your headline, its catchy and I think it makes people want to click on your blog. Nice work.

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