Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Behavorial Targeting, the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly

This post is aimed at Google, Facebook, Twitter, and all Ad Serving Networks.

My previous post discussed my search for a new laptop. One that will cost me between $650 and $900. So not a small sale. It is worth the various brands and retail outlets to observe me researching specifications and pricing. The specs I seek are for across the brands in terms of the hardware, so they are an equalizing factor. Since I seek to buy in the next 6 weeks the real impetus will be the best deal. I have a few models picked out that I am willing to buy and seek the best price, warranty, and any deals like free virus protection etc. I do have concerns about pre-loaded software. I want minimal. My Compaq that I bought in May 2008 came with too much stuff. Like MS Works..deleted. MS Office trial...deleted. MS Internet Explorer...deleted.

I want to take the BT from various view points. The retailers, Staples, Best Buy, Walmart, and Apple all observe me crawling around their websites. The Ad serving networks that have access to my surfing also could possibly see that I went to these sites (unsure if they see on the sites themselves). And if I post any information about my search on Twitter or Facebook, they have access to knowing I am searching. And of course Google owns this Blogging site!

What I want. I want the retailer to send me a pop up saying if I buy within the next 60 mins I get something. Free accessory. $50 off. Free shipping. Etc. And really that is it.

The retailers. Should want what I want. Try to make the sale right there immediately while I have items in my cart to look at pricing.

Those two are great benefits to BT.

Now the Ad Serving networks, Google, Facebook, and Twitter. It is in their best interest to offer Ads to be served by the Brands themselves to me in hopes of swaying me one way or another. But to do this they would have to serve me Ads at some point, somewhere. Obviously a retail site will bar this. Obviously if I have Firefox with Ad Blocker I won't see them anyway. But I am a very high value prospect. Meaning they could auction or sell Ads served to me to the brands at a high price. Now while I might be fine with 1 or 2 ads popping up, I would flip out if I was slammed because of BT. And that is the danger of BT.

Brands obviously want every single time someone is looking for such a big ticket item to be able to contact you. But if they all do, again I am slammed and upset.

Now get to the value of BT. Who gets the value? That depends. Will BT of Ad Serving help me find the best product at the best price? Or will the Ads bought by the highest bidder cloud out a best solution for me? If I can't see all my options then BT fails me.

And of course the only way to see best option is to work at it. To search via Bing or Google. Read all the Ads and Circulars. Visit stores. Ask friends. And make phone calls. In this case my work (and information found online) will pay off 80% of the effort to find best product/price. And Advertising will actually help since that is how the 'deals' reach me.

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