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A Glimps at the Future of Ecommerce Live Chat

April 12th, 2011 1 comment

As someone who works in online marketing I get to see a lot of new technologies; however, it is very rare that something appears that has the potential to change how we interact and facilitate transactions in the online space. After seeing this video I believe that 3 Live Shop has that potential. By combining mirrors, camera’s and touch screens, basically video chat with a multi-touch interface for the salesperson, 3 (Tre) has created the potential for an in-store shopping experience anywhere you have a computer. Check out the video and feel free to share your comments.

3 from B-Reel & B-Reel Films on Vimeo.

Categories: Marketing, Online Marketing, Web Tools Tags:

Online Advertisers Fight to Keep Tracking Cookies Alive!

July 22nd, 2009 34 comments

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Once again the debate between online privacy and behavioral ad targeting seems to be heating up. Earlier this month the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Direct Marketing Association, American Association of Advertising Agencies, and Association of National Advertisers issued voluntary guidelines for protecting consumer privacy when marketing to consumers based on their online behavior trying to stave off potential legislation being proposed by consumer privacy groups.

It’s not surprising that people are so passionate about this issue. The idea of everything you do being tracked online would make anyone uneasy. On the other hand the online ad industry considers the information they collect essential to providing consumers with relevant content related to their interests.  Legislation, when or if it is enacted, could go from something as simple as advertisers or web-sites being required to disclose what is being collected and who is collecting it to requiring ad networks or websites to ask your permission before sending information to their servers. It is the fear of the latter that has the online advertisers scrambling to be proactive by coming up with their own guidelines.

Most of the tracking that takes place on the internet is done through a small text file called a cookie (tracking cookie, browser cookie, etc) that is stored on a user’s computer. The cookie is sent and retrieved each time a users browser accesses a server from the cookies issuer. The server can be for a single web-site or it can be used across multiple sites, in an ad network for example. The cookie (file) itself contains bits of information such as a users preferences, shopping cart contents, types of pages visited or other data that is determined by the cookies issuer. Most of the privacy issues have to do with third party cookies which track information across multiple websites, not first party cookies which are website specific. The online advertising agencies say that without these tracking cookies life on the web would be far worse than the perceived privacy benefits.

What always surprises me when this debate comes up is how, for a group that seems so determined to want to keep things the same, the online advertising agencies do such a poor job at presenting the benefits of their service to consumers, focusing instead more on scare tactics with little to no merit. For example it was recently said that if tracking cookies were eliminated that “every time you revisited a site, you’d get the same ad over and over, including those big fat ad units you have to click to close, [a]ll your favorite sites would lose your preferences; information fields would never auto-fill; and e-commerce would become too annoying to contemplate.” However, since most preferences are stored on first party cookies, any real loss of convenience would be minimal.

Instead of focusing on trying to keep things the same, the online advertising agencies should be working on new ways they can add value for the consumers permission to collect the behavioral information ad agencies seek like their offline counterparts have to do.  This will help to ensure their longetivity, because if a consumer does not see the value in what is being offered the industry will face increased limitations from either legislation or from the consumers themselves, remember pop-ups.

Categories: Marketing, Online Marketing Tags: