Digital Advertising: Tracking the Trackers
The Economist published an insightful video answering the question: how do internet advertisers read our minds? If you think about it, we are online all the time. Every time we click, thousands of third party companies have the opportunity to harvest and make insights about us with meta data. Zeros and Ones that are meaningful in the right combinations. Mind Blowing!
The sad truth is that most consumers do not realize that their demographic, geographic and psycho-graphic data is being compiled and sold to advertising entities all of the time. Consumers are creating what is called a data trail with the help of cookies that are dropped onto web browsers and users can be tracked as the navigate the web. Data brokers are then able to create a very accurate profile of the user based on browsing patterns and sell this information to advertisers who are looking to sell products to very targeting audiences.
Mark Zagorski from eXelate, a data company in NYC says:
Weather it is through a mobile device, through a tablet, through a set top box or through a PC All of those devices are generating information creating a very rich profile of a consumer that creates a super relevant opportunity for marketers to reach them based on those interests as well.
Fun fact: In the USA, you do not need consumer permission to gather information about consumers. For a while now, a magnifying glass has been put on the data brokers as consumers have become more aware of how their data is actually being used. While cookies are necessary to make make the internet relevant, easy to use and practical, it’s scary how much data is out there and you have absolutely no idea who has their hands on it!