Analytics and advertising

WordPress offers some simple analytic tools which I can use to find out which posts people have been reading, and I’ve been a bit surprised to find that my post from November 2009 on a sustaining technology (the washing machine) attracts a steady stream of ‘hits’.

Maybe these readers know something that I didn’t, because our 18-month-old washing machine has developed a leak in the door.  Fortunately this looks to be a guarantee claim, since John Lewis sells washing machines with a two-year guarantee.  But it’s very striking that, since clicking on the John Lewis site a couple of times yesterday to find out about how to claim, several other sites have displayed prominent banner advertising for John Lewis whenever I browse them from my laptop.  I know that analytic tools are used by websites to place targeted advertising – I just assumed that usually their use would be a bit more subtle than it has been on this occasion.


2 Responses to “Analytics and advertising”

  1. Farshad Dabeshkhoy Says:

    Hi Martin, interesting to read this on your blog, as it’s a topic that i’m extremely interested in at the moment, and also what my coursework was based on – “Behavioural Targeting”. The ads you are seeing ar ‘dynamic ads’ probably from one of the 2 largest ad-networks who currently dominate the market at the moment with this strategy, one being “Criteo” and the other is “MyThings”.
    Legally they must show the “i” on the bottom right corner of the ad, and if you click on this icon – it will show you who served you the ad, why they served you the ad (e.g – what you were looking at that made them target you again – in your case, washing machines on the john lewis website) – and it also offers you an option to opt-out of this targeting.

    Some find it quite annoying, some think of it as “well, i will be shown ads regardless, so I might aswell see the ones I might be interested in”

    You’ve been cookied by the advertising world Martin! 🙂

    Great post, – I better be on my way to my exam at 14:30 for your module! 🙂



    • martinrich Says:

      Thanks Fash for this – it’s an interesting insight.

      I guess that behavioural advertising, like Muzak, is supposed to be so subtle that it’s imperceptibe to most people who are browsing.

      Good luck with the exam

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