Online Tracking

Recently I installed Chrome and a bunch of plugins including ad-blocking, denying trackers, and other protections. I wanted to road test them to see how it felt seeing the web without ads and much customisation.

As an online marketing consultant, some of the most effective strategies for advertising online include re-marketing (showing you ads after you’ve been to a specific website), and the recommendation of changes to website owners based on customer behaviour on a website to make the website more conversion friendly.

Without tracking data it’s more difficult to provide a customised experience, and the web becomes a big billboard with lots of irrelevant ads (aka noise). Ok, perhaps that example is a little extreme, but I don’t believe that denying customisation is a good thing. The way I see it, the “Do Not Track” movement is positioned in such a way that “Evil corporations are using all this data they have to make more money”. It’s an us vs them mentality, and doesn’t educate consumers enough on the benefits that the tracking allows. With several browsers now looking at making Non Tracking options as default, things may just be getting more difficult for marketers to provide personalised experiences.

Giving consumers a choice to be tracked or not is a good thing. However, both sides should be presented with facts. Marketers aim to make offers more personalised and hence it is in the consumers best interest to be presented with ads and offers that are more likely to be in their interest than the default.

Naturally, there is already a huge amount of information floating around online that companies can harvest to get a major advantage. Critics of tracking often argue that this information is dangerous if it falls into the wrong hands. This is true, although I feel that personal recommendations for products and services are more important to make the internet more relevant and create less noise.

What do you think?

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