While browsing the web today I was hit by a banner ad powered by Criteo for Zappos. They are using my previous browsing history to target Zappos products I may be interested in. This technology, called retargeting, has been around for a while but I have never been presented with a link at the bottom of the add before. Clicking this link brings me to a page that actually shows my browsing history, how it correlates to what others have purchased, and tries to make an intelligent decision on what to show me. Below is my own landing page for the ad:
This is a good thing because it is less of a wasted ad impression because it has some relevant information. My personal goal around ads I see is to never see an advertisement for something I do not want. By placing an ad for something I want, may have already purchased, or bailed from a conversion funnel in the past creates a higher affinity to that product.
Many people are afraid of this technology, mainly because it appears at first glance to be an invasion of privacy, but in reality it makes for a much better experience when faced with the fact that advertisements are a integral part of the web ecosystem. Smarter ads that can convert to sales are the best way to keep the content free.
Related articles by Zemanta
- Criteo lands $7M more to retarget consumers with personalized ads (deals.venturebeat.com)