Eyeing for Candy – The Web Is Still Hungry

Now, every ads provider wants to customise ads based on the user’s behavior and interest.

I remembered attending AdTech 2012 where I was awestruck by the technology of being able to target users by their interest coupled with friends’  or connections’ interests. Targeting smaller circles which are themed around a specific interest, and having many of these circles to power search results.

The circles then grow like mushrooms, and the conclusion of this technology is that the target reach of a search query will keep growing as the smaller circles grow.

Now, I see this technology picking up speed.

Google believes remarketing with display ads will benefit marketers a lot. But if the user clears the cookies every day, then remarketing can’t work.

Facebook feeds itself with recommendations which are strong tools to tilt items into your virtual pushcarts.

So this is no longer about you getting what you need from information on the Web.

Can you tell what this trend will lead to?

IMHO, I think this will bring about a stronger surge of marketing power, but users in general, will need to make more effort to choose what really is important for themselves. Not letting the Web shape your interest.

This is simply because we need to remember that an increasing number of ads that we are looking at are coming from our friend’s or connection’s interest too and may not be really the most relevant to what you need the most. In one word, biased.

On another aspect, these ads that are not relevant to you, but are “recommended” by your friends or by a cookie that you picked somewhere. Yes, they might get you to check them out. But at the end of the day, you find yourself wasting your time diverting from your original intention. I call it the “online temptation”, the power that keeps you browsing more than you should be.

The Web is hungry for online behavior data, online preference data, etc. We feed it each time we click on a link, each time we scroll down a page, and worse, each time we register on a website and enter our details.

As a user being exposed to a similar ad that appears too often, I feel the same way as being pushed by a salesman to purchase, when I actually do not want the item sold, and I do not have time for the sales presentation at all.

Now, this is the thing that irritates me about getting on YouTube to show my daughter her favourite videos, and my baby starts yelling each time she doesn’t see her video starting, but some other strange video (ads that you can skip after xxx seconds) starts rolling.

I hope not to let my kids grow up to be shaped by the Web ads. Buying what their friends buy, especially when the purchase is just a short-term craze and will not make the society grow morally stronger.

I rather my kids be shown snippets of advice or survival tips, or channels that foster efforts to conserve the Earth, or to help the poor and suffering. Even adults need these too, don’t you agree? Google won’t welcome this of course. They are living on the money from their Ads.

Yes, I am a marketer. I help others make that important purchase, but one of my daily goals is also not let my ads get into the view of the non-target audience. That is why, I hope Google will allow more search query data to be visible so that I can continue to build my keyword list and the negative keywords list. This way, I can help the Web regurgitate the right ads to the right users.


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