The following is a guest post.
Whether you realize it or not, politicians, businesses and other organizations are very interested in what you think, and they are willing to go to great lengths to find out information about you that will help them craft their television ads to your personal preferences. A new form of marketing known as “addressable advertising” is sweeping the country because it gives marketers the ability to target specific individuals based on their demographics, activities and interests – so if you think no one is watching you, think again.
Addressable television advertising allows marketers to target individual users or households with specific ads based on data collected about them. What you watch, what you buy and what you look at on the Internet can all be accessed to allow marketers to tailor a television advertising package designed just for you.
Such advertisers will look at your household income, the makeup of your family and even your car lease or mobile phone contract to target you with specific advertising. If this sounds invasive, that’s because it is; however, all of this data is easily accessible to anyone who cares to look for it. By using publicly shared data, addressable advertising predicts the products and services in which you will be interested and sends you ads based on those predictions.
One of the biggest fields in which addressable television is currently making inroads is politics. Both Republican and Democratic candidates have partnered with television networks like Dish and DirecTV to use addressable marketing strategies to target households based on demographics and other factors. While this presidential election will be the first in which we see the true impact of this type of marketing, many experts are wondering if addressable advertising could be the key to winning political races in the future.
Of course, politics are not the only area in which addressable advertising is being used, companies like Eyeview are already diving into the world of targeted television advertising. By offering marketing assistance for both large and small companies, they are helping them to maximize their advertising budgets by targeting their audiences with laser precision.
No one is really sure what will happen in a future in which addressable advertising becomes the norm. However, experts are predicting that this form of advertising will soon outdistance more sweeping, generalized television ads as companies pour their marketing dollars into targeted commercials.
Addressable advertising is not a favored concept with viewers, though. Most of the criticism hinges on the fact that so much data is easily available to marketers, who can then mine this data to create a targeted ad stream. Those who are critical of this method of advertising are generally concerned that there is altogether too much “big data” accessible to too many people. Critics also claim that targeting households with children, seniors or others who are vulnerable and might be easily influenced by television ads may be unethical.
There is also criticism of the use of addressable advertising by political campaigns. Critics claim that using this form of advertising may give voters a false picture of candidates by focusing only on certain planks of their platforms and not their views on every subject. This chiseling of information to fit a particular demographic, such as parents with children or young voters, could result in lopsided support for candidates by people who do not see the entire “big picture.”
Although many experts are concerned about the availability of so much data to any marketer who wishes to use it, targeted marketing makes economic sense, especially when considering such information could help lower the price families of all income brackets pay for various goods and services. The future of addressable advertising is still uncertain, but one thing is clear: this newest form of television marketing is growing in popularity with marketers every day – it’s a safe assumption to say addressable advertising is positioned nicely to become the most predominant forms of television advertising in the next decade.
Beth Ellen is a blogger for directstartv.com. Currently based in Chicago, she is a writer specializing in tech and energy topics, as well as a freelance photographer. In her free time she trains for triathlons.