There is a common misconception that ad tech targeting is bad; however, the markets that have already spent millions on it do not want to believe it. However, there is a logical explanation available to show why this phenomenon is bad.
The parameters of ad tech are all derived from the behaviors of anonymous users. Most people visit a site without logging in or providing their personal information. Some of them do not allow ad tech bots to collect their data. So, the ad tech experts must consider who they are and what they do based on the websites visited and pages displayed.
In any case, this might be a good option for users visiting general websites. However, it becomes challenging for users visiting sites like the New York Times or Walmart because the accuracy and quality of data start to dwindle.
Studies have suggested that the main parameter of ad tech is gender. However, the ad tech traffic and audience segmentation have become too much to handle. With time, two targeting parameters, age, and gender, came into play and dropped accuracy to more than 46%. Marketers who play within these dimensions still want something more accurate to bring to the table.
Now, if we see through the user’s perception, we should ask them about the relevancy of the ads shown. Analytics on these ad campaigns state that users immediately recall seeing an ad and perceive its relevancy. There are ongoing examples that state users do not think the ads shown to them are relevant. Combining these observations with real-life scenarios will result in the conclusion that relevancy is the central aspect of ad targeting. Some users get poorly targeted ads, while others are downright strange. Retargeting of ads happens when data companies plant cookies in browsers and observe the behavioral targeting around the web. These users are then targeted repeatedly with ads from that website or product.
It is not the best approach, as data companies do not know whether you are looking for a product for yourself or anyone else. You are constantly bombarded with ads that start to frustrate you. If a consumer does not think ads are relevant to what they need or want now, then they rarely click on them, making targeting inefficient. The only ones who think the targeting is relevant are the marketers themselves.
Even now, marketers think this strategy works, but users do not want a constant bombardment of ads that may or may not be relevant to their demands. These ads have very few click-through chances, which worsens with automated ad targeting.
Negative Aspects of Ad Targeting
Many users perceive ad targeting as fraudulent, questioning its tangible or virtual existence. These companies target individuals to gather data, later exploiting it for personal gain. Fringe websites often employ similar ad targeting tactics as mainstream media, lacking substance and capitalizing on existing campaigns. The national security concern arises from potential ransomware or viruses attached to these ads, posing an immediate threat to user data.
Privacy issues emerge as user data is stolen and automatically sold. Ad tech lacks self-regulation, leading to irrelevant ads that diminish the credibility of legitimate websites. Users may be trapped in a political danger zone as ads falsely associate them with affiliations. A few companies use user data and ad targeting to dominate the market.
In conclusion, the debate around the efficacy of ad tech targeting remains contentious. While marketers may argue for its potential, user perception and real-life scenarios reveal a different story. The overreliance on parameters derived from anonymous user behavior often results in inaccuracies, diminishing data quality, especially on reputable sites. User relevance and the constant bombardment of poorly targeted ads raise concerns about the efficiency of ad targeting strategies.
Negative aspects, including privacy issues, security threats, and the lack of self-regulation, further contribute to the skepticism surrounding ad tech targeting. The disconnect between marketers’ perceptions and users’ experiences underscores the need for a more thoughtful and user-centric approach in the evolving landscape of digital advertising.