Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Attention advertisers: What about me? Why am I not a "target"?

I read that Google has "announced it has agreed to acquire dMarc Broadcasting, Inc., a Newport Beach, Calif.-based digital solutions provider for the radio broadcast industry." The announcement tells us that:

dMarc connects advertisers directly to radio stations through its automated advertising platform. The platform simplifies the sales process, scheduling, delivery and reporting of radio advertising, enabling advertisers to more efficiently purchase and track their campaigns. For broadcasters, dMarc's technology automatically schedules and places advertising, helping to increase revenue and decrease the costs associated with processing advertisements.

Google's VP of Ad Sales tells us that:

Google is committed to exploring new ways to extend targeted, measurable advertising to other forms of media. (my emphasis)

So, my question, my eternal question is simple:

Why do so many advertisers have so little interest in effectively targeting me, in a way that is measurable?

I'm tired of hearing about all of these efforts at "targeting" that are "measurable". It's now just so much meaningless jargon.

Don't get me wrong, I do know what a "test and measure" marketing ad program is all about and it is a good idea, but I see so little of it, at least little that is done effectively.

Sure, I see tons of ads every sigle day, but so much of is is not anything I'm interested in buying or using at this time, or any time in the imagined future, and I hardly see any ads related to what little products and services I am interested in buying or using.

One exception is that Borders Books emails me a nice 25%-off coupon every couple of weeks (the last one was 30%-off) and I both appreciate and use those coupons, frequently.

I hear a lot of talk about "local" search, et al, but I see zero ads that reflect that I am personally spending money every single day in my locaility (Boulder) and nobody is targeting me, at all. For example, I need to buy a new pair of shoes, eventually, and some new pants, etc. I don't think that I'm unque in that sense, but instead all I get are ads pitching products and services that don't interest me. I do get plenty of traditional junk-mail flyers in my snail-mail box, but none of it seems targeted at me.

I see online ads pitching cheap auto insurance. Sorry guys, but I don't own a vehicle or even drive any more. The fact that I have only a Colorado Adult ID and no drivers license, which is a matter of public record, should be enough to clue advertisers (including Google and its "network") that anything related to vehicles is of no interest to me.

Targeting? Show me. Let's see it. Show me some evidence that you guys really know how to target me or anybody else who has their own collection of interests and is not simply part of some vague, broad, general demographic.

Hmmm... I'm willing to bet almost any amount of money (what little I have) that dMarc is targeting me (or at least attempting to target me) as I write this (or as you read it). Oh, the irony. Sorry to break the news to them, but I don't listen to the radio. I don't even have an iPod. That reminds me of an old joke parodying radio ad sales people: "We're #1 with people who don't listen to the radio."

My only hope is that Borders will start selling shoes and jeans and let me use those 25%-off coupons on clothing.

-- Jack Krupansky


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