The Problem With Noise

As a marketer, I’m aware of many of the personal targeting methods of online advertising. Marketers have available to them re-targeting and a range of personal marketing options. In simplistic terms, this means that they can serve you ads for websites that you’ve visited, and the website can serve you ads to entice you to come back. Now re-marketing is becoming more powerful and targeted, I’m beginning to see ads all over the internet for web pages I have visited, products I may have checked out for a few minutes. I’m seeing these ads on normal websites, Facebook, and many other places.

I don’t have privacy issues, so this post is not about how to clean it up or prevent it. You can search for that quite easily.

This post is about the noise that all this marketing creates, and the distraction it creates. I see promotions for something that I don’t care about right now, as noise and distracting. If I want something, I tend to do a research phase and then make a decision. I don’t tend to spend extra days researching something once I’ve bought it. The problem is, if I decide to purchase one product or service, all the competitors and sites I checked out are likely to have re-marketing cookies on my computer, unaware that I’ve already made my decision. Statistically, re marketing has a great ROI (a few 100% depending on the study you cite), so it’s not going to be switched off any time soon. It creates unwanted noise though and since many of the pricing models are CPM (pay per 1000 impressions) rather than PPC (pay per click), there are still many wasted impressions because the potential customer has made a purchase decision elsewhere, and the advertiser has no way of knowing that. A more intelligent model would be interesting.

On a related note, I spent some time unsubscribing to over 15 email newsletters yesterdays. It’s a good practice to do sometimes, as your inbox ends up with less noise and you can find what you are looking for better.

If you have any questions about re-marketing, get in touch via the Contact Page!

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