Adtech

Mar. 29th, 2017 08:42 am
jducoeur: (Default)
[personal profile] jducoeur

Here's an interesting article about "adtech" -- those automated algorithms that companies like Google and Facebook use to spy on you and serve up advertisements that they think you will respond to. The major upshots are:

  • Adtech is at best wildly ineffective, and at worst actively damaging, for brands that are trying to advertise.
  • The core precepts of adtech is going to be illegal in Europe starting next year.

I'm not sure how accurate all this is -- it sounds a tad self-serving in favor of traditional advertising, so I take it with a grain of salt -- but I suspect there's a substantial grain of truth in it. It clarifies a distinction that the tech world has been trying very hard to blur, between direct sales and branding. It appears to me that adtech works a little for direct sales, but I suspect the article is right that it's inappropriate for serious branding.

I find myself ever more glad that Querki's business plan is specifically not built on the "spy on the users for purposes of advertising" model, which is looking ever more rickety. Asking people to pay for a service is old-fashioned, but it at least makes sense...

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-29 05:00 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] serakit
I have long subscribed to a free newsletter which (as it often reminds us) gets about 85% of its revenue from selling subscriptions to a longer premium newsletter, with the remaining 15% coming from plain text ads in the free version and merchandise sales. It's managed to do this successfully for something like twenty years now. Meanwhile, there's a blog I don't read unless I've got all Javascript turned off because the ads are so intense, and if the content wasn't also interesting I wouldn't be making the effort.

(no subject)

Date: 2017-03-29 06:45 pm (UTC)
drwex: (Default)
From: [personal profile] drwex
I am too busy/lazy to track down the stories, but there was a decent bit of reporting done after the election analyzing how well Trump's campaign had done at using adtech to serve up very specifically targeted ads to a few hundred thousand potential voters in swing districts. Again, possibly with a lot of exaggeration, it was claimed that this sort of targeting was responsible for the shifts in vote in those areas, both by appealing to people predisposed to believe certain things (if your click trail shows you don't trust Clinton then you get served an ad about her emails being deleted; if your click trail shows you lost your job recently then you get an ad with Trump promising to bring back jobs; if your click trail shows you're a Hilary supporter you get a news story about how big her lead is and how easily she's going to cruise to victory so you don't have to bother going out to vote).

Adtech may suck for building brands, but it appears to be effective at reinforcing peoples' nascent behaviors.

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