What are you looking at ?

Internet tracking whilst an inevitable part of today’s ‘advanced’ society is producing some of the most inane advertising ever witnessed. It is Intrusive and downright bloody irritating and the culprits need to sit up and take stock.

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Before I begin my semi-rant I must apologise for having disappeared for a few days. I can only blame my broken zimmer frame and my subsequent mood which was not, apparently swinging in the right direction, however I am back now and ready to roll, well limp at least. I thank heaven for sunny weather that allows me to at least sit in the garden whilst I heal very slowly and type away with gusto and no, that is not an invitation to Gusto Restaurants to bombard me with offers!!

I only went on Facebook yesterday to check some family pictures that have been shared and I was confronted with what I would describe as an explosion of classified ads, it’s advertising on steroids, advertising at it’s worst, advertising gone berserk. I am all for cleverly targeted advertising campaigns but this is taking the proverbial piss. Advertising as part of the Marketing mix is a paid for process of communication through various media, the internet of course now being one of them. It is supposed to be designed to influence the purchasing behaviour and thought patterns of the audience. It is not, however supposed to push the recipient over the brink of annoyance and treat them like fools. Information stored and used in this way is simply supplying the mountain of junk fodder, it’s that old notion of once again throw enough shit and some will stick or at least get a reaction. For the sake of limited response these campaigns are alienating many of the intended target, do the advertising agencies or FB care, do they hell…. they are simply in it for the cash.

Among the ads in just two days of scanning for pictures of my nephews enjoying summer camp were: London Brand Accelerator, Amazing Prostate Formula, BT iPhone Stunning Deal, Mens Leather shoes Coogan London, Pokeman, Dealman Shoes, Dating Agency.com, Eve Sleep, Sun Life, Cornerstone Shaving, Ancestry.com, Rosegal.com, Vintage Cash Cow, Dacia UK, Teechip.com, Evodental Implant Centre, BT Ininity, Dentaprime, Pottafina Pensions, Net Finance Relief, Saxo Print, Express Estate Agency, Sage Accounting, Bupa Global, Groupon, My Life in Perfection, Ocean Visa, Cunard Cruises, Help 2 Windows..

Of course if my partner were to scan my FB page and with his knowledge of tracking he could be forgiven thinking that I am losing my teeth, worried about my prostate, looking for somewhere new to live and a new partner to share it with. Fortunately for me he knows that I do a lot of market research so we avoid awkward dinner time questions….phew….

This is advertising gone crazy, it is unwanted, unshared (by me), unread and unloved. Of course I know it’s all generated by my actions on Google, my ‘journey’ I hate that much used term almost as much as I loathe when people say ‘I’m passionate about it!’ and then use their fingers to invert the commas, well ‘talk to the hand baby cos I aint listening’.. Maybe I did look at emergency crown replacement services as one of mine decided to fall out whilst I was chewing on a rather tasty steak a few days ago but many of the others that have popped up on my page in the same boring, repetitive boxes are assumptions based on my search journey, my internet trackers are doing their best to get me hooked but they are actually hacking me off. I have tried to erase them as I go, clicking on hide the post, then the next box appears so I tick the not relevant, then the next box appears and I am thanked by FB, gggggrrrrrrrrrrr just leave me alone.

The other worry of course is who else is tracking you and me. Stories about  vav vav vav ie 600-60-6 start to race around my mind.

Of course you can go into Google and start pressing buttons preventing them from storing information about your searches, this is a painstaking process and although you may get them on one thing they are sure as hell going to get you through another avenue. It is everywhere, Gmail, Twitter, LinkedIn, just everywhere and it’s driving me crazy. Take me back to targeted direct mail any day of the week. Although that too became saturated by the big blanket mailers that had total disregard for the intelligence of the masses. I much prefer a small select advertising campaign of quality based on another important part of the marketing mix called ‘market research’ something that seems to have been forgotten in this push button and follow me world. I will be dealing with direct mail later this week, whether you like it or not it’s still here and it is effective provided you do your research and don’t treat the audience like a bunch of idiots. I will also be talking about data and of course the data suppliers, there are a lot of Dick Turpins in the data world and I should know I have dealt with them for years. So watch this space.

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