It can be a little spooky when you talk to your mom about wanting to get your nails done and then having an ad randomly pop up for an at home nail kit. While targeted ads can sometimes seem a little weird, they can actually be really helpful. And the way they work is actually through careful data collection.
What You Are Looking At
One of the biggest ways that companies figure out how to target you with ads that are specific to your needs is by gauging and taking in information about what you are consistently looking at. For example, if you are watching a particular tv show—say a house renovation show—you are likely to get ads for related products and items as you are watching the show but also later on.
Basically, the information that you input to have access to cable is also related to the information that tags your other online interactions and searches. From what you watch, companies are able to figure out what you might want to buy.
The Data They’ve Collected
In addition to directing ads at you based on the type of TV you enjoy, many companies will target you with their ads based on the data they collect about you. When they know your age and your gender, they already know a lot about your particular demographic. Adding other data onto this information they collect like information about you’re the pages you follow on social media and what you watch on TV further enhance this knowledge.
And actually, targeted tv ads are becoming more popular for advertisers and they can also improve your experience. Instead of being forced to watch boring ads that you don’t care about, the ads you watch will be for products that you might actually want.
Your Search Words
One of the biggest driving factors for ads is the actual type of words you input consistently when you do Google searches. Usually, a conglomeration of these different search terms creates a more specific idea of the type of consumer you are, what demographic you fit into, and what products you are specifically interested in.
That’s why searching for a moving truck will result in seeing ads for professional movers a couple hours later when you’re scrolling through your social media.
Understanding how targeted ads can help you feel more at ease when you see uncannily specific ads pop up. Ultimately, they help you find what you need. And if you have to see ads anyway, why not see ones that you might actually care about right?