Do you think that there are too many ads flooding the online space? According to a new study from the Ponemon Institute, marketers using online behavioural advertising; tracking user’s Web browsing habits, are using 75% less of it than they would like to due to privacy concerns.
The 90 companies and organizations surveyed curtailed their behavioural advertising, even though they estimated the tracking-based ads were 50% more efficient in generating sales than conventional online display ads.
“Privacy fears are definitely having an economic impact” Larry Ponemon, chairman of the privacy and security research group tells The New York Times that marketers are avoiding behavioural targeted ads, because the sector is subject to an uncertain legal and regulatory environment.
However, Michael S. Zaneis, vice president for public policy at the Interactive Advertising Bureau, thinks that can change. “If you can diminish the privacy concerns, money will flow into online behavioural advertising. It would be a lift for the entire industry.”
But that’s easier said than done. The self-regulatory drive is more than just a marketing campaign to fend off regulation. The industry is making real investments in technology. Start-ups are focused on the privacy market. One of them is Better Advertising, which offers a consumer tool for tracking the online trackers, and business software for advertisers, agencies, ad networks and publishers to aid them monitor and audit data-collection trails.
“The problem is what economists call “information asymmetry.” In simple terms, on one side of the computer screen is grandma searching for arthritis treatments or a birthday gift for a granddaughter, and on the other side of the screen is a black-belt quant working for a data-mining start-up. The consumer can’t be expected to understand — and follow — all that happens with his or her data, and the clickstreams can closely approximate personally identifiable information.”
However, we are very sure that behavioural targeted ads won’t end up living up to its fullest potential due to a couple of reasons. One of the ways it’ll die is due to government regulations where they can render it useless. Another reason could be the solid fact that consumers are increasingly sharing information online hence, making behavioural targeting obsolete.
Are you a fan of behavioural targeted ads as consumers? For me personally, I prefer it that way because I know for a fact that the ad is targeted at me and I won’t be exposed to irrelevant ads that do not interest me. What about you?