It was recently announced that ‘Google’ has added “interest based ad targeting” to Adwords enabling it to “target search ads based on previous browsing activity”. In my previous post on behavioural economics I discussed how placing and wording adverts in a particular way can influence a consumers choice, which is one reason why personally I believe this to be a cornerstone in consumer targeting.
I recently completed the ‘Google Marketing Challenge’ in which as part of a team we received $200 to create an Adword campaign for a small local business. This experience taught me that for one you can never have too many keywords and secondly that targeting your chosen audience is a lot harder than it seems. Especially when there is a brand personality that needs to be kept in tact (no easy route of being the business that offers the biggest discount!). This brings me to my second reason for believing that behavioural targeting is the way forward for search engine marketing; it makes both the marketer and the consumers life a lot easier. What I mean by this is that it enables businesses to target and audiences to view adverts based on relevancy. Saving the business money on wasted clicks and the audience time with useless links.
An issue that does arise, however, is that of privacy and ethics. Is it right to monitor peoples online behaviour?
Damon Horowitz, who is the Director of Engineering at Google talks about the power that comes with new technology and the philosophical theories he believes we should use to consider what we do with this power. He states how “we want people building the technology thinking about what we should do with the technology” and how we need a moral framework to cope with all the power that this technology gives to us. Watching this talk took me back to my Philosophy and Ethics A-Level that I took and reminded me significantly of how it is important to think about the actions you take, however exciting the new technology or venture may be.
I believe it to be a positive sign that Google has has an in-house philosopher and that with their new ‘interest based ad targeting’ they will feature “the new industry standard Ad Choices logo and it will be easy for consumers to opt out”.
Smiles all round then :)