First let’s take a look on the common definitions of advertising: “a non-personalized message to promote or sell a product, service or idea. In the ancient Greece, when merchants would shout from their market stalls and sold their products to potential customers – this definition seems appropriate. However in 2018, when personalization is the goal of the game for advertisers, this definition seems surprisingly out of place.
The increase in programmatic advertising has provided advertisers with unparalleled opportunities to target specific users and improve performance. With programmatic campaigns, platforms and algorithms it can manage ad placements on thousands of sites to drive the right users, at the right time, in the right place on the Web and in mobile applications or even in the value proposition.
At this point, advertisers began to think that customers felt that targeted advertising was useful and would be happy to share their personal information by most of the relevant branded messages. But despite what any Facebook-funded research study has mentioned, users do not want personalized ads: they want freedom to choose what they buy or not.
Somehow this becomes a roadmap on how we hope to create advertising experiences in the near future. But not only does this type of advertising not serve users, nor is it clear if it serves advertisers. This further increases and facilitates the abuse, with user data used to manipulate people and even meddle in the elections.
At this point, the conversation between the customer and the advertiser has come to a standstill. Since the application in May, see an avalanche of brands abandon basics targeting the audience for contextual targeting, which allows brands to connect with users in a way that respects your privacy but still offers value.
Perhaps, instead of pushing users away with hyper personalizing ads that intrudes on their privacy and only meets advertisers’ goals, try to understand what users really want and anticipate their needs. Perhaps the user sees an ad for Uber while revising their social networks after a long night of work late at the office? Perhaps an ad for Deliveroo while looking for options for home catering?
Even it seems simple, for an industry we must learn to commitment to our users culturally, negotiating with the consensus to consider a new value proposition between the advertising operator and the customer. If we are able to advertise in AR, to allow AI to solve the challenges of our workplace and to send a machine to space, we can surely find a way to connect brands with the right users, without violating their personal freedom.