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Financial Times: Data Marketers Can Follow You Anywhere

By    |   Sunday, 29 Sep 2013 08:28 PM

Data giant Acxiom, which monitors the behavior of more than 700 million consumers globally, is about to make the details available to marketers so they can pinpoint and personalize their advertising pitches across the web, mobile and eventually television, the Financial Times reports.

Previously, marketers had to create separate profiles to track a consumer across
multiple media devices, but now they may be able use a single “identifier” from Axciom so the same consumer can be followed from tablet to mobile phone to PC, both at work and at home.

Phil Mui, Acxiom’s chief technology officer, told the Financial Times: “We are making big marketing data truly actionable.”

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The Acxiom system does not use online tracking cookies that are commonly in use today, and instead permits clients to access “master profiles” about consumers.

“For instance, an insurance company could target ads to new parents who have home
insurance within a couple of clicks, using Acxiom’s platform,” the Times reported. “The marketer could then further narrow the target by gender, marital status, income, age, whether they own a car, among hundreds of other attributes.”

A survey by the Pew Research Center earlier this month found that most Internet users would prefer to be anonymous online.

The Pew study said 86 percent of Internet users have tried to obscure their online footprints by taking steps ranging from emptying tracking cookies to encrypting their email. And 55 percent said they have taken steps in an effort to “avoid observation” by certain people, organizations or the government.

Users clearly want the option of being anonymous online and increasingly worry that this is not possible,” said Lee Rainie, director of the Pew Internet Project. “Their concerns apply to an entire ecosystem of surveillance.

“In fact, they are more intent on trying to mask their personal information from hackers, advertisers, friends and family members than they are trying to avoid observation by the government.”

The Wall Street Journal reported Google may abandon tracking cookies in favor of a new system that would create “its own anonymous identifier for each individual.”

Under current practices, advertisers can affix tracking cookies on websites, but each uses
a different code, so they do not know whether they are tracking the same user.

The Google system could prompt advertisers to turn to Google to get information about people's shopping habits and preferences, rather than try to monitor advertisers themselves, the Journal concluded.

Editor’s Note: 75% of Seniors Make This $152,000 Social Security Mistake (See Easy Fix)

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Data giant Acxiom, which monitors the behavior of more than 700 million consumers globally, is about to make the details available to marketers so they can pinpoint and personalize their advertising pitches across the web, mobile and eventually television, the Financial Times reports.
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Sunday, 29 Sep 2013 08:28 PM
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