In this blog we talk a lot about localization. Technology allows us to know where a consumer is geographically when they’re reading an online ad and, much like your local newspaper, we can feed an ad loaded with information about a local dealer for a specific brand. Not much of a shock to anyone’s system.
Beyond localization is customizing the online ad based on your surfing history. Showing ads based on information from tracking where you’ve been on the site you’re on or even other sites you’ve been too. That’s behavioral marketing and can make people a little nervous.
So, before the FTC rushes in and regulates the industry the advertising industry has come up with a first step to inform consumers why they are seeing a specific ad. Here’s a mock-up taken from an article in The New York Times.
The idea is that you’ll click on the “i” icon and go to a page that explains why you are seeing this ad, assure you that they really don’t know much about you and allow you to fine tune or opt-out of the program.
No one thinks this is the only step that needs to be taken but it is a first step. And, I haven’t read about anyone predicting how consumers will react to this message.
A few weeks ago we reported on Google’s version of the same idea on their search site and that most consumers were indifferent or even modified the settings to improve the customization of the ads. However, just because it works on a search site and one that is as well known as Google doesn’t mean it will work everywhere on the internet.
This will be interesting to watch.