Saturday, 28 February 2009

FULLY Addressable Advertising, Our Industry's Holy Grail, is Here.

Consumers tend to be wary of the idea of opening up to fully addressable advertising for fear of getting deluged with SPAM-like waves of ads, yet what they'd actually get is exactly what they want - information about stuff they like and want, delivered only once. What guy wouldn't want to see the latest technical innovation BMW's bringing out, or what shoe fanatic wouldn't want to see what will lead Jimmy Choo's line-up for next season? The privacy 'conspiracy-ists' have a role in worrying about opening up our entire hard drives to phishers, but there are less-intrusive ways to share just enough information to allow fully addressable advertising to work and mobile phones provide the source.

Note this from the article: How Marketers Hone Their Aim Online

“The FTC is reviewing online ad practices and is looking into behavioral targeting issues -- the nature of the information collected, how it is safeguarded, if it is personal and identifiable, if it is anonymous and whether there is any real threat to consumer privacy. "We don't want to be stepping into the marketplace to intervene (just) because something feels creepy or icky," says Eileen Harrington, Deputy Director of the Bureau of Consumer Protection at the FTC. "If the results of this tracking are that ad content is displayed on my computer, I'm not really sure there is any harm in that.
1. So the FTC is supporting addressable advertising (addressable by IP address in this case).

2. Average consumers will do so as well, once they ‘get it’ that we’re talking NOT about forcing MORE ads on them that they have no interest in, but only playing them ads they ARE interested in, and far fewer times, and ONLY on sites where they are getting something they want already for free (news, humour, other entertainment, socializing).

3. Kevin MacDonald points out that cell numbers are much more personal than computers: "'One flaw of behavioral targeting: Advertisers have no guarantee the same person is behind the computer screen all the time.' Yes, but one of the benefits of tracking a user's behavior on a mobile phone is that, unlike the family-shared web browser, people generally do not share their phone."

4. With new legislation, cell numbers can now stay with you for life (well, within a geography — eventually that will change with universal roaming).

5. People are now totally comfortable with computers (well, the majority of the ones who spend big bucks).

6. People are gradually getting comfortable with the internet as an overall concept — the fearful mystery is evaporating.

7. With the need for blocking access by their kids to porn sites and by employees to time-wasting sites, people are getting used to the idea of some level of monitoring with regard to surfing.

8. People are gradually getting comfortable with shopping online via credit cards, so that “privacy issue” (really a security hurdle) is being overcome.

9. They will get comfortable with navigating a version of the internet with reduced details on their new smart phones over the coming 2-5 years.

10. With all of the above, along with ‘educational’ promotions encouraging them to interact with marketing contests, etc. on their mobiles over the coming years, they will gradually get used to LBS.

11. Similarly, they’ll also be gently enticed to get used to addressable advertising in its current unobtrusive form (IP and mobile phone number tracking), and the early adapters will plunge into fully addressable advertising.

12. What will this “ fully addressable advertising” be? That is the grail.
Can you see it? IP addresses are shared and not that 'personal' nor all that narrowly targeted (does your laptop IP change when you log on at a Starbucks?). Mobile phone numbers are yours for life. Privacy concerns are too deeply ingrained to allow for fully automated addressable advertising as it would mean knowing, for example, which porno sites your IP visits (actually everyone’s ISP already has these details), but PERMISSION-BASED addressable advertising is perfectly legal and it is THAT that is the Holy Grail of addressable advertising.

If someone patents the idea of a simple, universal software tracking code and a service like TinyURL through which a person simply clicks on to register their mobile number and is then given a permanent, anonymous IP that is linked to their use of their computer, their mobile and even to them when they log on to a public computer, they'd be tapping into a veritable bottomless pit of profit.

One company has just cracked a universal USB radio chip that is going to allow for all developers to install it on any device, like a universal, not proprietary, BlueTooth. With that chip in every phone and in every computer, every device will recognize each individual mobile phone SIM card by communicating with it when it gets close enough (as long as both your mobile is powered up AND you have given permission to run the transmission for LBS).

The trick is to convert a phone number that advertisers can actually call you at (very scary — even I recoil at the idea), into a filter that allows you to control the messages/ads you are fed. That’s the grail. A WAP and WWW site you go to, log on and modify to your own comfort level:
• In order for us to help show you ads and information that appeals most to your interests, will you allow the XYZ program to track the type of information you search for and filter out ads that are clearly of no interest to you? Yes_ No_ Only during these hours of the day:___ to ___

• How many times are you willing to watch the same video ad? One time _ A few times_ More often_

• Are you interested in accumulating points for charity based upon how much time you spend online using XYZ for ad filtering?
If this service targeted teens to start with, the Millennial age group that has no concern about privacy, posting semi-nude photos of themselves on Facebook, it would create a groundswell that would eventually win the masses over.

Link to "The Ad Industry's Holy Grail, Part 2" which points to research backing up the above.  The biggest push behind the shift to our Grail is The Death of Frequency (click title for post).

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