Sonntag, 19. August 2018

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Behavioral Targeting Goes LOHAS

Though we’re closely following the use of neuromarketing to drive consumerism, we at Ethical Markets Media are interested in marketing of all forms. My current attention is on behavioral targeting – web-based marketing using cookies to track your actions while surfing.  The sites you visit provide a snapshot of you to info-gathering companies which then sell your details to companies wanting to sell to someone like you. There are many info-gathering companies like Omniture, SiteSpect, Dotomi, Stratigent, Fetchback, Amadesa, the list goes on.

If I research airfare for an eco-vacation, later I might get pop-ups about car rental deals for that same time and place.  My computer begins displaying content based on demographic and lifestyle information I myself entered: two “adult” tickets – so I’m not a kid; leaving Jacksonville, Florida, so I live in the southeast; to the tropics, so bikini ads over Uggs.  Kind of an odd type of stalking.

Here’s my gripe, though.  I’m not getting stalked enough!  BlueKai, an organization providing behavioral targeting with an Opt Out option, had nothing on me.  Neither did the Network Advertising Initiative

Makes me wonder just how relevant behavioral marketing is for those of us working to grow the green economy.  Granted, 90% of my internet action is to SRI sites of some form or another, government sites, non-profits, etc.  Still, I’m normal enough to have bought a few gifts online from work, lots of books (even if 90% are econ-ish), arranged some travel, etc.  There must be a “type” that is of particular value and/or a threshold to get in the cookie loop.  And, I don’t fit it.

This seems odd to me given that computing power and certainly software is sophisticated enough to delve down to the most minute detail, i.e., even if I’m the only person with my general profile (which I’m not because all of you are doing similar internet interaction by virtue of reading this post).  So, if you’re a typical consumer, watch out!  If you’re a moderate (or less) consumer with a social conscience, no worries because no one wants to target you or your behavior. 

Is this good or bad?  Personally, no pop-ups is great.  I don’t want to be stalked, uhhmm, followed, ah, targeted (okay, no word makes me happy).  There ARE ethical issues of privacy, after all. 

On the other hand, we need a critical mass of us displaying SRI, CSR, LOHAS-type behavior.  When we’re suddenly receiving pop-ups for composting toilets, the local flea-market and carbon-offsets for air travel, maybe it’ll be a sign ethical markets have arrived. 

(Ha! I accept the incongruence.)

Rosalinda Sanquiche, Exec. Director, Ethical Markets Media

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