Pinpoint accuracy

Now this is targeted advertising: I was looking at Platial — the site that lets you push pins into Google Maps — for something I’m writing and I found an ad there for the Sony GPS add-on to cameras, which lets you record your location with your photo, a cool device I saw in action at the Guardian. It’s perfect targeting — and, I’m sure, not expensive marketing — and it struck me that no Google algorithm would have made that placement. In fact, Platial would know best what plays with its audience. This reminds me of the discussion of sell-side advertising, the idea of the publisher picking the ads because it’s the publisher who best understands the audience and the context, and the advertiser pays on performance. It still makes sense; we just need the infrastructure to enable it.

  • Andy Freeman

    > It’s perfect targeting — and, I’m sure, not expensive marketing — and it struck me that no Google algorithm would have made that placement.

    Why do you think that?

    > it’s the publisher who best understands the audience and the context

    Publishers are in a position to understand the audience and context better than Google but that doesn’t mean that they do. Each of them has to do the work to understand their audience. Google has more information about the audience (because Google gets to look at them elsewhere) and any work that it does to understand them applies to every publiser’s audience.

    Also, Google knows far more of the available advertisers.

  • http://www.buzzmachine.com Jeff Jarvis

    Andy, you’re right all around. I’m just struck about this perfect targeting opportunity that comes not from words on a page but from knowledge of the context and needs of the audience. How does that kind of ad really get placed? The placement alone can be expensive if the advertiser/agency does it. If the publisher does it, it could be wrong, as you point out. That’s what I’m mulling.

  • teqjack

    OK, that is an example of good targeting.

    In general, I am not in favor of targeting advertising, at least not on an “individual” basis. When I open a site about cars, getting ads about [auto] insurance etc. makes sense. But in today’s world, unless I clear cookies if I then open a life insurance site I get ads about buying cars or auto parts. This is what needs to change, and probably not by altering to put up “context” ads for health/home/nautical insurance. Frankly, I”d rather see random selection: I might see an ad for something I had not thought of but which is interesting. Best might be a percentage of individual/context with some random selection of advertising.

  • http://due-diligence.typepad.com Tim Oren

    Yahoo’s working on something that can be used as the storage backend for geocoding information out of cameras, GPS, mobiles, etc. Nothing official about any advertising related apps.

  • http://www.rickwaghorn.co.uk Rick Waghorn

    I’m just struck about this perfect targeting opportunity that comes not from words on a page but from knowledge of the context and needs of the audience. How does that kind of ad really get placed? The placement alone can be expensive if the advertiser/agency does it. If the publisher does it, it could be wrong, as you point out. That’s what I’m mulling.

    - That’s why we’ve built ‘Addiply’ onto our MFW sites; gives publisher the opportunity to free up his own ad PPC space for highly-targetted local advertising and gives the advertiser the chance to place said highly-targetted local ad without entrusting that decision (and cost) to a third party.

    As an advertiser you ought to know yourself where your own customers are likely to linger most web-wise.

  • http://www.teemingmedia.com Dorian Benkoil

    Targeted, yes, but can the scale ever reach the numbers necessary to make it a real ad model in such a fragmented market?