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What Your Digital Footprint Looks Like to Advertisers

It's no secret that everyone's online browsing habits are being tracked by more and more marketers. Data on browsing history is a powerful way for advertisers to find and deliver relevant content to the right people. If you were checking out a new coffee maker on, chances are you're going to see an advertisement for that same coffee maker follow you across visits to other websites.  Online advertisement tracking software has evolved to the point where it can actually predict future spending habits and lifestyle changes. In 2012 it was famously reported that Target could predict an upcoming pregnancy in its consumers through big data.

Is this a bad thing?  

In my humble opinion... not really. I have accepted that, as a consumer, I'm going to be marketed to. I would rather the online advertisements I see be relevant to me and everybody wins. So what exactly does one's  persona look like to online advertisement tracking software? 

Oracle has developed a useful online tool called "BlueKai Registry" where consumers can manage their digital footprint. In Oracle's words,"The BlueKai Registry brings transparency to consumers by allowing them to see what preferences are being logged by other third party data creators on their computer. Data in the registry – should not be thought of as 'BlueKai Data' rather it is 'BlueKai' being transparent about what data companies think about your computer. Consumers can also control their anonymous profile by managing their topics of interest. Your preferences may be used anonymously to influence which types of marketing messages you receive across the Internet. Or you can choose to not participate at all via an opt‐out."

Below is a snapshot of what my own digital footprint looks like. See yours here.


How to use digital footprints in your advertising and marketing

In the past, managing your brand was a one-way conversation. Companies would broadcast their message and count on the right people happening upon it at the right time. Today that's all changed. Our digital marketing strategies, are now laser focused on specific buyer personas and continually optimized through analytics. Marketers are able to use a consumer's digital footprint to build personally tailored communications that convert. If you're interested in learning more, then check out our free guide on "Unlocking the ROI of Your Marketing with Analytics" below:

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