Want to know how advertisers show you custom advertisement? Don’t worry we got all up for you. Let’s take an example, you’re shopping online for a new pair of shoes. You’re browsing through the different styles and their corresponding prices when an ad for your favorite sneakers comes onto the screen.
This is a bit of a surprise, because you didn’t buy them and they haven’t been advertised on any previous sites that you visited. How do advertisers know what you are looking for?
If this sounds familiar, it’s because these advertisements are created based on what you have searched for online before.
Targeted advertising has been part of the Internet experience for years. Google and Facebook do it, and it’s always operating in the background without your knowledge or consent. This allows advertisers to create more enticing and memorable ads that can be more effective than non-targeted ones.
Today, companies (that have your permission) are keeping track of what you search on the Internet, where you shop online, what you purchase in-store and even what television shows you watch.
They all want a piece of this information in order to provide targeted advertisements to their customers.
How Advertisers Collect Your Information?
Here are the ways to collect the information:
1. Clickstream Data :
The term clickstream relates to all the traffic that an Internet user submits to a website. This is how advertisers learn which parts of their site are getting the most traffic.
From there, they can determine what content is the most appealing to their visitors and create ads that are relevant to those visitors.
Are small programs that run on your web browser, allowing advertisers to keep track of your shopping habits and collect information about your previous activity.
This allows advertisers to create a more personalized and targeted ad experience for each of their audience in the future based on their users actions.
Also read: 9 Online Scams That Target Small Businesses
3. Purchase Data:
This can be anything that is bought or sold via the Internet. For example, if you buy something on Amazon, that information will likely be stored and used by advertisers.
Similarly, any personal information about you that is listed on social media websites (i.e., your birthday, your account details) can potentially be used to tailor ads to you.
4. Search Data:
When you are searching on your search engine, your search terms are being logged and used by the companies that deliver ads on the results page. This is known as pay-per-click advertising, which is a model where an advertiser only pays when a user clicks on their ad.
So if you searched for something but did not click on an ad, the advertiser does not pay anything. This is how companies can afford to keep their marketing costs low and still be profitable.
5. Check-Out Data:
Similarly to purchase data, any personal information that you have about yourself that is listed online can be sold to advertisers who want to show targeted advertisements to you.
This means that if you have your address listed on LinkedIn, it can serve as a large target for those advertisers.
How do Advertisers Use My Online Information?
As I mentioned earlier, the data that advertisers collect can be used to create advertisements based on what you have searched for before. The main objective of ad targeting is to tailor a message to a specific group of customers.
For example, let’s say that you have never watched “Finding Nemo” but are searching for restaurant menus and generally like seafood.
An ad may show up in your search results with a picture of a fish along with information about what time and day they deliver, at which location and even mention your name if the advertiser chooses to do so.
In addition, online advertisers can use your browsing history to show you advertisements for products and services that are more likely to appeal to you and therefore generate a greater amount of sales.
How Do Advertisers Send Me Custom Advertisements?
So, you have an ad that is being sent into your inbox or the banner above your computer screen at random intervals. Isn’t it annoying? It’s basically spammer’s in the wild now. So, what can you do to stop it?
There are several ways that advertisers can target ads at you and via your email address. The preferred method, as I mentioned before, is by collecting your clickstream data, such as the websites you visit or your favorite products and services.
While this is one of the main focus of this article, using cookies and mobile advertising are also popular methods for ad targeting.
Tips & Warnings to Keep in Mind
- Be wary of who has access to your personal information.
- Avoid clicking on ads unless you are interested in the product or service advertised. If you do happen to click on an ad, be sure to close your browser after each session and clear your cookies. Cleaning cookies may help keep targeted advertisements from appearing on your screen.
- If you’re going to shop online, use anonymizers that make it difficult for advertisers to track your information. Remove any account information from social media sites that is not necessary for doing business with the company in question. For example, if you don’t need a Facebook account in order to buy something on Amazon, there is no reason for the information to be stored by Facebook.
- If your mailbox is filling up with marketing messages, you can request that a company remove you from their list. You can do this by clicking on the “unsubscribe” link within the email or looking for an option within the email itself that says “unsubscribe” or “opt-out.”
It’s not necessarily bad to allow advertisers to see what you’re looking for online. Advertisements are a form of communication between parties. The consumer wants to know about the product or service and the provider is trying to sell it.
However, the methods by which advertisers gather information leaves much room for privacy invasion. In addition, there are concerns that companies will be able to access this information without your knowledge and use it outside of their intended purpose.
The problem with targeted advertisements is that they are creepily accurate and leave little room for privacy between users and companies. However, there are things you can do to help prevent advertisers from having access to your data.
Also read: 9 Ways To Make Money Online On The Internet
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