Sunday, July 6, 2008

TV advertising, where is the connection?

Why doesn't the cable company know if the ads I see during my TV watching result in a sale? They know my name, they know my address. I know this because I get a bill every month. I'd expect they know what shows I am watching, what time I watch them, and my channel changing habits.

I'd expect they know what ads I see during the shows I watch. The next step is to analyze my spending, did I purchase something that is related to an ad I saw recently? Check my credit, check my banking, I use electronic forms of payment more then non. Given this, wouldn't advertisers know the return on their advertising?

While talking about this may seem simple, there is, I assume, a few things that stand in the way:
  • Sharing intelligence. Once a company has intelligence, they don't want to share it. This means when a creditor has spending trends and patterns, and from that can predict what you'll do next, its likely that that knowledge has value and they don't want to share it.
  • Not only is wanting to share the first step, then the ability to share is the next step. Connecting this intelligence across heterogeneous providers and making sense of it would not be easy. For instance, connecting my ad viewing to my purchasing.
  • Next is privacy. Customers might not seem happy about this sort of "global" view being event possible to achieve. The fact is, in a lot of ways, this is happening, against customer knowledge. Because it's not public knowledge and is overseen by contracts and legal ... stuff. So nobody can really do anything about it anyway.
Aside from these, I'd imagine if connecting it all together is priceless for advertisers and ad providers. Then the cumulative knowledge helps target new adds into my household next time around... The investment seem reasonable given the results.

But don't listen to me, I don't know anything about TV and selling ads.

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