Emerging Tech

Using offline data to target online users

Marketing data company, Acxiom, will use the data collected offline on consumer activity to target more relevant ads to consumers online.

Marketing data company, Acxiom, will use the data collected offline on consumer activity to target more relevant ads to consumers online.

An excerpt from Associated Press:

Like other data brokers, Acxiom routinely mines phone books, voter lists, property records, warranty cards and other data to profile and categorize your household and about 130 million others across the country into 70 categories.

Relevance-X, the new online program Acxiom launched in October, taps those "life stage" categories to target advertising.

Now, when you give your name and address to an online retailer, survey service or other Web site partnering with Acxiom, the company will match you against its offline records — unless you specifically decline sharing.

And then it will tag your computer with a "cookie" identifying your life stage and match that with the type of site you are visiting to determine which ad to show.

A few weeks ago, a similar targeting service from Facebook received a lot of flak. Using offline content to target ads online falls in more or less the same category.

The article also reports that a similar service tried by DoubleClick had to be shut down after receiving criticism.

Even though the company claims to have factored in the issues faced by DoubleClick, how comfortable are you with the increased focus on targeting users with advertisements?

2 comments
Tig2
Tig2

But that is partly because I don't trust Acxiom with my personal details be they public or private. Analytics is getting to be huge in business. By taking past consumer data, business knows what to offer you. But to me, there is a difference between Sears doing that (they can't, I pay cash for everything- therefore no tracking mechanism) and a third party doing that. For one thing, they are presuming a lot to be setting a cookie on MY machine with the specific purpose of tracking me. Privacy will become a lost concept unless we who are losing it take steps to fight it.

pr.arun
pr.arun

How much comfortable are you with the increased focus on targeting users with advertisements?

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