David Kirkpatrick

January 27, 2010

Online privacy and advertising

The two have quite the tempestuous relationship. In many ways hyper-targeted advertising can help consumers and certainly advertisers prefer to spend money on people who might actually use the pitched product/service/etc. At the same time there are legitimate concerns about online privacy rights, and how data about your online habits can be used and misused.

This article outlines a reasonable middle ground for the moment, and offers a visual clue to web users on when they’ve been selectively targeted for certain ads.

From the link:

Trying to ward off regulators, the advertising industry has agreed on a standard icon — a little “i” — that it will add to most online ads that use demographics and behavioral data to tell consumers what is happening.

Jules Polonetsky, the co-chairman and director of the Future of Privacy Forum, an advocacy group that helped create the symbol, compared it to the triangle made up of three arrows that tells consumers that something is recyclable.

The idea was “to come up with a recycling symbol — people will look at it, and once they know what it is, they’ll get it, and always get it,” Mr. Polonetsky said.

Most major companies running online ads are expected to begin adding the icon to their ads by midsummer, along with phrases like “Why did I get this ad?”

And, the symbol:

The icon will be used in online ads that go to users based on demographics

October 19, 2009

A small business primer for Google’s AdWords

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:34 pm

A very informative AdWords/AdSense 101 for small business from the New York Times. Easy to understand and informative, this article is a great primer for anyone looking for a bit more guidance in using AdWords.

From the link:

Here are the basics: Google AdWords are keyword-driven ads that show up along the right-hand side of a Google search page under the rubric “sponsored links.” People who search for terms related to those you select — say, “widgets for sale” — will see your ad alongside the results of their search. How high up your ad appears on the list of sponsored links will depend, in part, on how much you’re willing to spend on your campaign. The more you spend and the more relevant your ad, the higher it will rank. Because AdWords is a pay-per-click service, you pay Google only when someone clicks on your ad.

May 15, 2009

Avoid online quizzes and scams

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:30 am

It ought to go without saying, but don’t waste your time with online quizzes — that free IQ test, RealAge and others — unless you’re interested in providing personal information to marketers, or even more nefarious characters.

From the link:

While Web quizzes may be fun to take, they’re also a powerful tool for companies to collect your data and even your money–and often in ways you might not notice. We’ll get to the spooky stuff in a moment, but let’s start with the simplest method of quiz-based marketing: advertising. The very nature of a typical online quiz requires you to divulge all sorts of details about yourself. Those tidbits of info are like nuggets of gold for advertisers craving a way to connect with you.

“The big trend is about engagement,” says Debra Aho Williamson, a senior analyst with eMarketer. “These quizzes are getting people to pay attention to ads.”

Paying attention, it seems, is almost a requirement: Aside from being carefully targeted at your interests, the ads are often in-your-face and impossible to avoid. Take, for example, TheFreeIQTest.com, a quiz I found via a text ad on Google. By the time I clicked through the 105th “offer” (aka advertisement) it threw in front of my results–no exaggeration–I gave up without seeing the results of the quiz.

“There’s a clear annoyance factor, leading people to one thing, then at the last minute bait-and-switching them,” Williamson says. “The challenge with this type of advertising is walking that line between people wanting it and people wanting it to go away.”

May 1, 2009

This bad tweet of the day …

Filed under: Business, Media, Technology — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:07 pm

… comes courtesy of an online marketer who I’ll not name. I’m sure you can search the phrase on  Twitter and find the original, and maybe a lot more since a re-tweet request was included.

This is just so bad, and stupid to boot. And coming from a self-proclaimed marketing pro.

The gist of the tweet:

3 “Swine Flu” Twitter Secrets to Wild Viral Success