Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Potential Digital Real-estate in Targeted Marketing

target audience
Google is trying really hard to make your internet browsing experience a good one. However, their reasons for doing so are not necessarily in your best interests. Beit intentionally or subconsciously, we customize things we interact with on a daily basis. The internet is one of those things. If we lack the skills to customize our internet browsing, then Google can handle some of this for you…at a small cost; they have to know about you. Quoting from Google’s privacy policy[1], here is some of what they collect:
  • Device information (OS, browser, IP)
  • Log information
  • Location information
  • Unique application numbers
  • Local storage
  • Cookies and anonymous identifiers
Though not specifically mentioned, Google says they collect this information for this reason:
We use information collected from cookies and other technologies, like pixel tags, to improve your user experience and the overall quality of our services. For example, by saving your language preferences, we’ll be able to have our services appear in the language you prefer. When showing you tailored ads, we will not associate a cookie or anonymous identifier with sensitive categories, such as those based on race, religion, sexual orientation or health. We may combine personal information from one service with information, including personal information, from other Google services – for example to make it easier to share things with people you know. We will not combine DoubleClick cookie information with personally identifiable information unless we have your opt-in consent.
Much of the public side of the information Google collects is done so with your consent, and much of the time, you give your consent by using their services.

As mentioned above, Google uses this information to show you tailored ads. These ads seemingly haunt your browsing experience. Once you have searched for an item, you notice ads for this (or similar) items advertised on the bulk of websites you visit afterwards. This means, while you are sitting at your computer, you are the target of specific marketing ads, making company marketing dollars more valuable. But, what happens when people are not in front of their computer? Is there a way these targeted ads can carry outside of a computer, phone, or tablet?

There are a few national averages I must mention at this time that will be pertinent down later on.
  1. The national average daily commute time is 25.4 minutes (one way)[2]
  2. The national average amount of time spent watching television, among multiple age groups, is 30 hours a week[3]
If Google could find a way to specifically target ads to you in your car and on your television, this could mean a roughly 87% increase in advertising. The technology is there, but is not yet being utilized.


Targeted Ads on your television

Nearly 2/3 of all televisions currently on the shelf are advertised as “Smart TVs” (meaning, there is a WIFI chip integrated into the television itself). If Google were to partner with television manufacturers, the identity of an internet user could easily be tied with the identity of a television viewer, allowing the internet users search history to now show actual commercials pertaining to products searched.

However, Google is no stranger to this marketing tactic. In October of 2013, GIGAOM.com[4] published an article announcing Google’s intention to finally do away with Google TV and, instead, focus on enhancing Android TV. Android TV will be a stand-alone video viewing platform that won’t have the same reach without the partnership.


This is almost happening in the auto industry

Google’s intention to begin advertising to people in cars is evident with a patent awarded them earlier this year[5]. However, this patent is small potatoes compared to a recent allegiance with automakers. Forbes.com published an article early this year announcing Google’s alliance with multiple auto makers, saying, “…an initiative involving Audi , GM, Honda, Hyundai and chip-maker NVIDIA, that aims to bring the Android experience to in-car navigation and infotainment systems.”[6] With the Android fingerprint now being built into cars, it is only a matter of time before your car is deemed another browsing platform to be grouped with your phone, tablet, and computer. Here, the integration of targeted marketing cross-over has been further simplified. The end result of Google’s intentions is to have a car that will drive itself. If Google’s lofty goal doesn’t sink the project, the potential marketing strategies could easily survive.


Like any new technology, there is uncertainty as to the way the general public will react to it. If the software is poorly programmed, or the content is not organized well, the social threshold won’t allow the strategy to take root and it could sink, much like Google TV.

Or, the strategy could take root and quickly gain momentum. If this happens, there could be serious complications for small businesses without a significant online presence. Advertisements for big corporations could dominate the digital “airwaves” thinning out local markets. When the little guy feels threatened, then legislation comes in for the rescue.

This is an emerging front with not much specifically written on the topic. However, the Open Automotive Alliance Press Room will keep you abreast of the landmarks they hit. Remember, the end goal for this alliance is to have a car that will drive itself, so take their victories with a grain of salt.

[1] Google Privacy Policy (2013, December 20) Retrieved February 18, 2014
http://www.google.com/policies/privacy/
[2] Average Commute Times Retrieved February 18, 2014, from Project WNYC
http://project.wnyc.org/commute-times-us/embed.html#5.00/42.000/-89.500
[3] MarketingCharts staff (2013, December 9) Are Young People Watching Less TV? (Updated – Q3 2013 Data). Retrieved February 18, 2014, from Marketing Charts
http://www.marketingcharts.com/wp/television/are-young-people-watching-less-tv-24817/
[4] Janko Roettgers (2013, October 10) Google to sunset Google TV brand as its smart TV platform merges with Android. Retrieved February 14, 2014 from Gigaom
http://gigaom.com/2013/10/10/google-tv-rebranded-android-tv/
[5] Frederic Lardinois (2014, January 3) Google Awarded Patent For Free Rides To Advertisers’ Locations. Retrieved from Techcrunch
http://techcrunch.com/2014/01/23/google-awarded-patent-for-free-rides-to-advertisers-locations/
[6] Amadou Diallo (2014, January 6) Google Set To Drive Android To Your Car. Retrieved February 18, 2014 from Forbes
http://www.forbes.com/sites/amadoudiallo/2014/01/06/google-set-to-move-android-to-your-car/