I’ve noted many times that visits to some sites suddenly gets you targeted by ads for those sites at other sites.
An example: we needed a refrigerator to supplement our aging unit. I looked online at lowes.com and several similar places.
As is my habit, when I was done looking at refrigerators, I closed the tab and opened a Facebook tab. I was immediately shown a set of ads for refrigerators from Lowe’s that included the units I was looking at. So that’s interesting, of course, a close to real-time sharing of ad information that managed to be tied to me personally.
This went on a couple days. I would occasionally return to lowes.com (and to other sites) to look at refrigerators. Eventually, I settled on one, and it happened to be a Lowe’s unit. I went to lowes.com, found that unit, and then went through the order-and-pay sequence, which included setting up delivery to my house. I was pretty impressed by how easy it was.
That was last Thursday. Since then, I have been followed by the same Lowe’s (and a couple of other companies) ads as I have moved around the net.
And that’s what made me wonder. Lowe’s clearly could tie me as a visitor to their site (and interested in an item or type of item), and then could tie me to Facebook, and CNN, etc. to show me that ad on those sites. Why did Lowe’s not also recognize that I had bought the refrigerator, and then either stop showing me the ads for that unit (and others, since I am unlikely to buy two refrigerators), or maybe show me ads for ice makers or other refrigerator accessories, or maybe related items like a new oven?
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t really want ads, but OTOH, they help pay for my internet experience, and so they are a necessary thing. But if I were a marketer, I would try to use the info I have to try to get people to buy more crap as possible.