A week ago I was looking for a pirate costume for a theme party, so I was searching online and visited a couple of website. After finding the perfect outfit, I ordered it and it arrived the next day. However, when I enter Facebook, I still get recommendations for different pirate costumes, even though there is no need for it anymore. 48% of the people tend to spend more when they have a personalized experience, therefore 90% of the companies use personalized recommendations. However, there is a small boundary between helpful personalized and extremely irritating unnecessary ads.
Nowadays everyone is familiar with the aspect of “cookies”, as in the Netherlands every website asks if you are willing to accept them to provide you with a better service. That is why when you search for a theme costume, Facebook shows you adds of pirate cloths. However, these cookies also have a downside, as they do not work on mobile devices. Therefore companies have no clue what you are looking at, which is an increasing problem as mobile devices are the future. (Un)Fortunately, Facebook found a solution: Atlas.
Next level: Atlas.
Atlas provides a cross-device service to see which adds a customer uses to buy a product. Not via cookies, but based on your signed-in Facebook profile on every device. Therefore Atlas can provide it’s partners with all the information about a particular target group to improve their marketing strategy. Examples of companies who used Atlas are Tommy Hilfiger to link their digital ads to their in-store sales or Live Nation, who wanted to make sure that their ads reached their core fans in the right places at the right time.
Is Facebook the new god?
One of the biggest issues when keeping track of personal data is the problem of privacy. When signing in to a new website or for a service, people hardly take the time to read the terms anymore and therefore often agreeing that a company can use all their personal data.
It might be even that Facebook knows more about you than your close relative and the perceptive of privacy is getting more and more blurred nowadays. Even though we are not keen on sharing every weird, drunk or ugly picture of ourselves, behind the scenes, Facebook already knew that you had a party that night as you looked up how to make Margarita’s.
The biggest question is how far are we willing to share everything we do online for personalized recommendations. One of the striking aspects of the personalized ads is that after you bought certain product, you still get spammed with a product you already have. For now the advantage of a personalized journey still outweighs the inconvenient, but for how long?