I recently opened up an online account with a bank. I had just started with Mint and so I’ve been behaviorally tagged as a person interested in new finance stuff. On my work computer, I saw an ad for the bank offering a good rate and so I clicked to learn more. I realized there was much more to read, so I put it off until the weekend. Then, on my home computer I did more research and signed up for the account. Now, on my work computer, I’m constantly bombarded with ads from that bank because they have no idea that I’m the same person that converted only with a different IP address.
There are new rules in the advertising community for behavioral targeting (read my previous posts on the subject here and here), where I can click on the upper right-hand corner of a banner and see why the advertiser chose to advertise to me and also see what they know about me already (my demographics, my behaviors they’ve seen and how they categorize that, etc). Whenever I’m surfing online and I see one of these I actually go through the process of letting them know a little bit more about me so that they’ll serve me better ads that I might actually find useful. You should try it. No more dancing ladies for college or loans. You become more valuable and are therefore a premium for their clients.
So, my idea. Why don’t advertisers who are using behavioral targeting and re-targeting technology when a person visits their site have another little link on the banner that says, “Already with us? Click here for an offer.” Then, have a little swag gift or give the person a $5 coupon or something for them helping you connect the dots between their home computer, work computer, cell phone and tablet. It will save you invaluable amounts of dollars re-targeting to them and others on multiple screens when you don’t really have to.
Have you experienced any overkill of ads being served to you by a company you already do business with? What do you think about their tactics?