Saturday, March 14, 2009

Personalized advertising

As the world wide web is increasingly accessed by mobile devices (equipped with GPS, and used largely by a single individual) the ability to narrowly target advertisements is increasing: Advertisers Get a Trove of Clues in Smartphones .
"Advertisers will pay high rates for the ability to show, for example, ads for a nearby restaurant to someone leaving a Broadway show, especially when coupled with information about the gender, age, finances and interests of the consumer. "

"Applications that use GPS can offer even more specificity, including Loopt, Yelp, Urbanspoon, Where and almost any iPhone application that shows the pop-up box saying it “would like to use your current location.” Several firms are experimenting with a program called AisleCaster that can offer specials based on a person’s exact location in a supermarket aisle or mall.
Advertising systems can track not only the location of the phone, but also that person’s travel pattern: uptown New York to Nob Hill in San Francisco, for instance."

"For now, there are not enough people using smartphones to make it worthwhile for advertisers to use highly specific criteria. But as more people switch to smartphones, that will happen more frequently."

The article also discusses the privacy issue, and whether customers will be "creeped out" by ads that reveal how specifically they have been targeted. (I wonder if people will find it equally creepy to be targeted by a computer from a big database that no human looks at as by a human being at a dinner time call center...)

No comments: