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The Amazon Advertising Network

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Amazon Behavioral Targeting

WALMART VS. AMAZON

Online MBA Infographic

Amazon.com attracts 137 million customers a week.

THOUGHT: While the big news yesterday was certainly the announcement that Facebook would add zip code targeting to their advertising services, what is far less known is that Amazon.com will become an ad network.

Both developments are a part of the same trend toward ever more targeted advertising. While Facebook’s addition of geographic identifiers to its treasure trove of psychographic data offers a powerful tool to advertisers, ¬†Amazon.com will use its database of consumer sales and shopping data to provide third-party websites with behavorial advertising.

I’ve said before that before the advent of behavorial advertising, I considered banner ads largely a waste of money. Now that I see ads following me around the web after I’ve done a search at Google or downloaded a whitepaper a certain site, I’m sold on the efficacy of behavioral advertising.

The company has 16 years worth of data they can mine, so you’d think they’d be pretty damn good at it.

You’d think.

But Amazon.com still wants to sell me a Kindle, even though I’ve owned one since Christmas. Every time I go to Amazon.com, there’s the promo to buy a Kindle even though you need to register the Kindle with Amazon.com in order to download books to it. Even though I’ve purchased many Kindle books through the site.

Amazon.com knows this yet still uses precious website real estate to sell me something it knows I don’t need.

And then there’s Amazon.com’s recommendation engine. While it is probably the best I’ve seen at an eCommerce site, Amazon.com still doesn’t recognize when I’ve bought a gift for someone else. During the holidays, for example, I will buy dolls for my nieces and have Amazon.com ship them out of state.

So Amazon.com knows my basic demographics and though it also knows I’ve shipped dolls to an address that was not my own and it knows I made the purchase and shipment during a holiday season and yet for months afterward it keeps recommending dolls to me. So it can’t figure out I was making a holiday gift purchase and it shouldn’t use that data to provide me recommendations?

I do think Amazon.com’s development of a behavioral advertising network is important they’ll first have to prove to me they can accurately target before I go all gah-gah over it.

 

WATCH: I discuss Facebook zip code targeting and what it means for retailers and political campaigns.

 

FOLLOW FRIDAY: Ron Fournier, Editor-in-Chief at National Journal Group and co-author of the best book I’ve ever read about database mining, Applebee’s America.

 

Thank you for friends.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.

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