Targeted advertising and personalized recommendation have become very important in the online advertising industry. After the initial hype that online tracking is the best way of ensuring effective advertising, now negative remarks on targeting are coming in from all directions. Here are the results of some surveys on online tracking.
AudienceScience and DIGIDAY carried out a study on ‘State of the Targeting Industry’. In spite of the negative opinions and the fear of consumer backlash, most advertisers use online tracking for more focused advertising. Also, majority of these advertisers have increased their budgets as targeted advertising has resulted in much higher conversion rates and increased profits.
As far as users are concerned, a majority of them are not in favor of targeting. Of the people who took part in the Gallup survey, two-thirds were strongly against targeting. Even if online tracking meant relevant advertising, most users were not in favor of it. Women seemed more negative about targeting compared to men. Only 19.8% women in the survey did not mind being tracked for more relevant ads while 37.3% men in the survey were in favor of online tracking for more personalized advertising.
Although majority of internet users are not in favor of targeting, when questioned about the impact of targeting on the image of a company, only 10.4% men and 11.4% women answered that it would have a negative impact. A large number of respondents (34.5% of men and 40.9% of women) said that it would not have any impact on their opinion about the brand. This is good news for advertisers who have increased their internet marketing budget justifying it by the increased effectiveness provided by targeting. Privacy issues however still remain a matter of concern for internet users.