STOP IT. We Are Not Creepy. – Data tracking and hypertargeting.

By:Julia Baldini12/07/2016

It’s funny. It happens this way every time I tell a business owner about today’s new digital media and hypertargeting. I’ll use retargeting as a good example of programmatic real time bidding because I know they have probably personally experienced it.
I’ll say something like, “You know the shoes you saw at the Nordstrom’s site, but didn’t buy them. A few hours later, or a day later, or a couple weeks later you are checking the forecast on and up pops an ad for those shoes.”

Their face lights up with recognition, even excited at the “magic” of it all; and then their face quickly changes into “That’s kinda’ creepy.”

I understand privacy concerns, especially when it feels like Big Brother is looking over everything you do on the internet. So Let me assure you of something. In my world of digital media buying — hypertargeting — programmatic RTB . . . in MY world of placing ads in front of you online, there’s nothing creepy going on.

Following the best practices of IAB (the Interactive Advertising Bureau), we are not ALLOWED to collect personal identification information.

Not that we would, because – let’s face it – we call that stalking. Stalking is not the way to advertise effectively.

Once we serve you an ad, the track you take to the desired landing page — immediate click or a circuitous route — creates what we call your attribution model.

Whether you immediately click in, or leave and come back, we’ll know. Not because we’re tracking you, per se, but we’re tracking your activity and engagement with our site.

And because we love to study consumers and their habits to improve our campaigns, more and more people in my business are interested in attribution reporting – not just how many clicks did we get, but rather what was your trail, your track, your path to conversion.

Whether it’s your cell phone, your laptop, iPad, PC, your cable set-top-box — all we care about, and all we know, is the IP address (your devices’ unique identifier) and the attribution trail (your engagement with us) you are leaving behind.

Now if that creeps you out, I can’t help you. We are swimming in a world of data, and data is trackable. And it’s only going to grow exponentially. Every time you use your cell phone or your computer and surf around the internet, you are leaving a trail. Every time a “machine” talks to another “machine” and is transferring information – data is being created. Theater ticket on your cellphone gets read at the door – data created. Drive by a store with a tracking beacon – data created. And so on.

This has become big business. Hundreds of start-up companies are now the aggregators, collectors, harvesters, and seller/suppliers of this data. Seventh Point’s in-house, digital media, trading desk has over 70 DMPs (Data Management Providers) constantly dumping data into our programmatic software system. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.

We have entered the age of applying Big Data. All this data and data harvesting makes the magic of programmatic digital media possible.

We are already starting to place more and more traditional media programmatically – video, radio, OOH. As Big Data continues to take over our world and our lives, smart advertisers will harvest it and use it.

Just as a reminder, and to give you some perspective on just how BIG, big data is…

Big-data-is-big-seventhpoint The Digital universe will grow from 3.2 zettabytes to 40 zettabytes in the next 6 years.
(Quick refresher: 1 zettabyte = 1 billion terabytes; 1 terabyte = 1 trillion bytes or 1000 gigabytes; 1 gigabyte = 1000 megabytes; 1 megabyte = 1 million bytes)
Big-data-is-big-seventhpoint More Data has been created in the past two years than since the introduction of computers in the 50’s . . . in other words, since the beginning of recorded history.
Big-data-is-big-seventhpoint By 2020, approximately 1.7 megabytes of new information will be created . . . every second . . . for every single human being . . . on the planet.

Technology is changing faster than it ever has before.

And it will never change this slow again. Welcome to the New World of Marketing and Advertising — the future just ain’t what it used to be.

*Calcagno Afterthought:
Look, it’s the holiday season, the shopping season. Let’s be careful out there with our personal identification information. Being cautious with private information is absolutely a great idea.

In my world of digital media advertising and buying, WE cannot, and would not, collect and track your personal information for the purpose of serving ads to you. But unscrupulous vendors and hackers can, and would, collect or steal your information . . . so please be extra cautious at this time of year with who you share that with and where.

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