Sports Marketing Cookies & Getting Milk Getting to Know All About You Case Study

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Chapter Review

Case Study

Getting to Know All about You

Advertisers want to be your new best friend. They want to know all your likes and dislikes, your favorite colors, and your favorite music. Your smartphone and Internet choices are helping them get to know you better. The better they know you, the better they can target ads specifically for you. In addition, advertisers want to send these ads to you on all of the devices you may be using, but it may cost you your privacy.


A few years ago, digital advertisers relied on “cookies” placed on your computer to monitor your Internet use. However, cookies are no longer useful to advertisers because of the addition of “cookie blockers” on personal computers. Cookies also do not work well with mobile apps and mobile browsers. So advertisers began looking for other ways to collect consumer data. Wireless phone service providers may be one answer. Verizon offers customers coupons as a way to gain their approval to share their data with advertisers.

Advertisers are also using Internet radio services, such as Pandora, to target listeners with customized ads. The ads are based on the type of music and the type of device that the listener is using. Advertisers believe that choice of music, movies, or books provides a glimpse of consumer preferences and political beliefs. Pandora uses song choices to target a listener with election campaign ads. Because it has the listener’s zip code, it can play political ads specific to that district. Listeners can pay an annual fee to opt out of receiving ads on the otherwise free Pandora service.

Because mobile app use is growing by as much as 115 percent each year, advertisers know this is a good way to reach consumers. Companies such as Flurry, a mobile measurement and advertising firm, embed software in mobile apps to help app developers track usage. Flurry can follow individuals on all of their Internet-connected devices—from their office computer to their phone to their home computer and tablet. Pinpointing individuals is so accurate that spouses using the same tablet can be shown different ads.

Few people realize how much of their information is available to advertisers. Technology providers agree that privacy is an important factor in the marketing industry. Advertisers must remain privacy-sensitive, or consumers will rebel.

Think Critically

  1. What threats do you think loss of privacy present to people in the United States?
  2. If you are not doing anything illegal, should you care that you are being tracked on the Internet?
  3. Do you respond to ads on mobile devices? Why or why not?
  4. What is the best way an advertiser could target ads to you? In other words, how can they reach you?

300+ words, Cite references.

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