The following is a post from Rob Mulcahy, TIG Global SEM Manager.
Just some online food for thought on a random Tuesday afternoon.
Earlier this week, the following advertisement was generated as a landing page, greeting me personally after I responded to a friend’s Evite, and a few initial thoughts came to mind.
First let me point out that I love the somewhat aggressive verbiage in this advertisement and find it to be quite humorous, at that. Secondly, the ad is also very seasonally relevant. It’s simple, it’s aesthetically pleasing, and the call to action is perfect. Two thumbs up for overall message delivery and appearance.
However, this ad’s targeting, while dually entertaining and appealing, falls short. The advertiser is obviously unaware of my exemplary margarita making ability. Yes, I mix an amazing ‘rita, and because of that I won’t be redeeming the offer, thus rendering this a wasted impression!
So what does this have to do with online marketing?
Ok yeah, I get that there is no way for the advertiser in this case to actually know about my awesome margarita making skills, but it got me thinking – how targeted will ads such as this one eventually get? At what point will the engines, networks, and ad servers of the world have gathered (or coerced us into forking over) enough info about ourselves to create an “alcohol preference” category in their targeting settings that would allow advertisers to exclude me (and other margarita savvy folks) from this ad campaign’s target demo?
Hypothetically, imagine Miller Light showing me an ad for an offer because they know that I favor Bud Light. Or reverse that – Bud Light showing me an ad because they know I hate Miller Light and they want to keep me loyal.
Of course “alcohol preference” would be just one example of the vast preferential categories available to advertisers of the future. Imagine being able to target Safeway vs. Giant vs. Whole Foods customers. Or Camel vs. Marlboro light smokers. Or Honda vs. Ford owners.
The future is here…sort of…
To a degree, you can shape your audience in this way right now via site targeting and the far more advanced behavioral targeting, but with a catch. Currently, you can never truly be sure if your consumer base is perfectly limited to that narrowly defined ford-echo-driving, camel-light-smoking, miller-light-drinking, giant-shopping group of people. That amount of targeting granularity isn’t available quite yet, and it may possibly never be, considering the recent rise in privacy concerns. But then again, retargeting wasn’t around five years ago either and the “big brother” aspects of that development is considered common place these days.
So you tell me, would a world in which ads were so perfectly targeted be awesome? Annoying? Wonderfully beautiful? Insanely ugly? Probably a little bit of each.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see how online targeting capabilities evolve, but for now, enjoy the greatness that is this ad and have an awesome Tuesday.
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