Monday, April 30, 2012

How Internet Advertising Finds You

      This morning I listened to Terry O'Reilly on the Age of Persuasion which is a CBC radio show. Terry O'Reilly is an advertising man who's been making advertising for large companies. These ads go on TV and in newspapers and are kind of a shotgun approach. They try to make the ad catchy whether or not you want a product or not. So the people who buy nothing but a Honda are showered by ads for Fords, Chevs...

     This morning's program explained that the big TV and newspaper advertising has suffered with competition from internet advertising. He explained how internet advertising operates.

     A couple of months ago I was looking for a new Internet provider. I checked out Telus. Ever since then I've had an ad on my Face Book page for Telus. So it works like this. If I want a car and I check out car loans. I put in the exact car in order to get a loan quote. Let's say I want a Honda Accord. The next day I'm going to have an ad on my home page for a Honda Accord and it will be at a good price and they"ll even throw in the wheels! You are one of the few people who gets this ad along with other probable Honda Accord purchasers. Terry O'Reilly explained how this happens.

     There are cookies that identify us. These are small bits of code. It operates much like a finger print. If the police have my finger print and find my finger print at a crime scene , they come to my house right away and say, "You're coming with us." They've matched the finger prints. Where ever we go on the Internet we leave traces. The places we go are picked up and matched to what we are interested in.   So another computer program sends us the exact ad for something we are interested in. 

      When we shop on line we leave information about ourselves. When we travel we leave information with airlines, hotels etc. These people are often very willing to share or sell our information. So along the way a tremendous amount of information is collected on us. If we use our credit card at 2:00 AM in a casino , our rating for credit card payment could be suspect? If we stay at a five star hotel or if we chose economy hotel information is built up as to what our tastes are. So after a while the Internet knows more about me than my wife does. 

     So it's very easy electronically to focus ads to very specific customers. This is cheap as compared to TV or newspapers. There doesn't have to be a lot of money spent to design a catchy ad. Internet ads  have  a big bang for the buck as people are targeted and very little energy is wasted..