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On Get To Know Your Customers Day, it’s the perfect time to introduce you all to the world of online ads, tracking and and the clever technology used by companies like Google and Facebook.

Our online activity is constantly tracked and monitored. To give just one example, our shopping trends are analysed so we can be targeted for similar items. As a marketing agency, we’re constantly getting to know our clients’ customers to find out the best way to target them. Online advertising is soaring - but are social media and Google the best routes to get to your customers?

Online advertising has been there since the early days of the Internet, but in recent years, it’s become far more sophisticated. The ads we see now are often the product of digital stalking - aka behavioural advertising - as companies try to track our every browsing move.

Data collected may include: pages browsed on a website and time spent, clicks made, recency of visit, and overall site interaction. This then forms a user persona or profile that can be used to segment the audience into certain types. People with similar online behaviour can be clubbed together into one segment, and shown ads that cater to their interests.

How does it work?

Lots of platforms work by inserting a cookie into a visitor’s browser. Because they can serve different sites, advertising networks have a larger demographic of users at their disposal, and can easily divide the populace into segments.

Have you ever looked at something online, and noticed that for the rest of the week, the product has popped up as an ad? This is because a repeat visitor can be shown related content based on what they searched for in the past.

Amazon uses this technique. In addition to showing related products or ones they think you’ll be interested in, they even email users based on the products they browsed earlier. This is called retargeting.

Knowing your customers is key to a successful business and online tools are refining techniques to help you reach your customers more accurately and cost effectively.

So - how well do you know your customers? If you want to know more about which online ad options are most suitable for your business, the Dynam team can help.