This is the summary of an article regarding the latest updates regarding the pros and cons of behavioral targeting and its role in analyzing the effectiveness of implementing “Do Not Track” Policy in improving online advertising and keeping it on the go.
Despite the mounting pressure from members of Congress and advocacy groups, a lot of online marketers do not believe that the “Do Not Track” proposal will hinder or put a stop to online advertising. History shows that regulations against direct mail advertising have not really been effective; and it seems unlikely that they will succeed in terminating web-based ads, too.
Of course, the introduction of proposals such as the Do Not Track means that certain adjustments will have to be made. In fact, Microsoft has already begun by creating a default Do Not Track setting in the latest Internet Explorer version. Some are claiming that such actions indicate the end of online ads; however, some are saying that it’s too early to tell.
Some Things to Consider
Amidst predictions that online advertising will be “killed” by the Do Not Track, the following observations state otherwise:
1. The issue is ultimately a Federal vs. State matter.
After all interpolations have been made, the final decision regarding the regulation of behavioral targeting will ultimately fall on the State. It is on this level that legislative matters will eventually be agreed upon and finalized.
2. Enforcement seems unclear.
When it comes to opting out of advertisement calls or emails, one simply has to log in with the “Do Not Call” registry or unsubscribe from a mailing list. On the other hand, the process of claiming to be a “victim” of online advertising seems unclear. This is because as soon as a person goes online, many data points are actually being gathered. What’s more, the technology used in data tracking is always being updated and improved.
3. Behavioral targeting is beneficial to the consumer.
Contrary to what many people think, personal and identifiable information is typically not used by behavioral tracking and targeting practices. Once they realize this, they would soon see that behavioral targeting is actually beneficial to the consumer.
4. Consumers have the freedom to choose.
Even if regulations on Internet advertising are put in place, advertisers, consumers, publishers, and website owners would still have the freedom to choose. Just as a lot of people still decide to smoke amidst the anti-smoking posters and campaigns done by the government, behavioral marketing and related strategies would still go on regardless of whether it is regulated or not.
Predictions & Possible Effects
Aside from the above considerations, it is also worth pondering about the possible effects of regulating behavioral tracking and online advertising. First of all, the cost of marketing would increase, since data gathering by online marketers could be hampered. Secondly, companies might make a shift toward social networking sites in carrying out their marketing campaigns. After all, people who use Facebook and other social media platforms have made some of their demographic information already available.
In the end, legislation pertaining to data tracking could happen, but this does not necessarily mean the end for online advertising. Through constant innovation, adjustment, and technology, the advertising industry would still be able to adapt and find ways.