Tagged: advertising

New tracking methods that are replacing Cookies

So the tracking cookie is dying, slowly. Facebook, Google, and Apple are changing the way users are being tracked in both great and terrifying ways. New methods are able to track users across multiple devices and platforms. Here how they are doing it:

Facebook  relies on its SSO (Single Sign-On) to follow the movement of users. SSO allows you to use your Facebook credentials on third-party websites and apps. When you do this, Facebook is watching, following, and cataloging your destination points, which obviously leads to targeting ads on the newsfeed.

Google also uses SSO technology. By logging into Google accounts users get tied up to the entire Google network, which is massive.

Then Android mobile operating system assigns each user a Google Ad ID. Many of Google’s ad products — AdSense, AdMob, and DoubleClick — pull in your device’s ad identifier. Together with the information it already has from its many web properties, including YouTube, Gmail, Voice, and Search, the company can compile a dossier of a digital history. This allows Google to categories websites and users for precise targeting.

Apple’s tracking techniques are focused primarily on two things:  email address, which is tied  to all of Apple’s services running on any iOS or OS X device, and iTunes account, which gives Apple credit card data and ties users most closely to its ecosystem.

Login identity is tied to Apple “identifier for advertisers,” or IDFA. It’s a unique string of characters assigned to every user buying and using an iOS device. So when ads run on Apple’s advertising network iAd for example, Apple is able to determine who’s receiving the ad, and potentially to connect that back to everything that person did elsewhere in Apple’s system.

Source VB

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Subconsciousness and 8 Mistakes Our Brains Make

Subconsciousness is not completely understandable and a bit weird. FastCompany prepared a list here of 8 mistakes we all make without completely realising them.

I know I make them.

1) WE SURROUND OURSELVES WITH INFORMATION THAT MATCHES OUR BELIEFS. (Crazy talk, right?).

We listen to who we want to listen, we hear what want to hear, and we like people who are like us and like what we like. While this makes sense, it means that we subconsciously begin to ignore anything that threatens our world views, since we surround ourselves with people and information that confirm what we already think.

This is called confirmation bias. If you’ve ever heard of the frequency illusion, this is very similar. The frequency illusion occurs when you buy a new car, and suddenly you see the same car everywhere. Or when a pregnant woman suddenly notices other pregnant women all over the place. It’s a passive experience, where our brains seek out information that’s related to us, but we believe there’s been an actual increase in the frequency of those occurrences.

Confirmation bias is a more active form of the same experience. It happens when we proactively seek out information that confirms our existing beliefs.

2) WE BELIEVE IN THE “SWIMMER’S BODY” ILLUSION.

The “swimmer’s body illusion” occurs when we confuse selection factors with results. Another good example is top-performing universities: Are they actually the best schools, or do they choose the best students, who do well regardless of the school’s influence? Our mind often plays tricks on us, and that is one of the key ones to be aware of.

What really jumped out at me when researching this section was this particular line from Dobelli’s book:

Without this illusion, half of advertising campaigns would not work.
It makes perfect sense, when you think about it. If we believed that we were predisposed to be good at certain things (or not), we wouldn’t buy into ad campaigns that promised to improve our skills in areas where it’s unlikely we’ll ever excel.

3) WE WORRY ABOUT THINGS WE’VE ALREADY LOST.

It’s all about the  the sunk-cost fallacy, we all do it, no shame in here, just the brain.

The term sunk cost refers to any cost (not just monetary, but also time and effort) that has been paid already and cannot be recovered. So it’s a payment of time or money that’s gone forever, basically.

The reason we can’t ignore the cost, even though it’s already been paid, is that we wired to feel loss far more strongly than gain.

Hal Arkes and Catehrine Blumer created an experiment in 1985 that demonstrated your tendency to go fuzzy when sunk costs come along. They asked subjects to assume they had spent $100 on a ticket for a ski trip in Michigan, but soon after found a better ski trip in Wisconsin for $50 and bought a ticket for this trip, too. They then asked the people in the study to imagine they learned the two trips overlapped and the tickets couldn’t be refunded or resold. Which one do you think they chose, the $100 good vacation, or the $50 great one?

More than half of the people in the study went with the more expensive trip. It may not have promised to be as fun, but the loss seemed greater.
So like the other mistakes , the sunk-cost fallacy leads us to miss or ignore the logical facts presented to us and instead make irrational decisions based on our emotions–without even realizing we’re doing so.

4) WE INCORRECTLY PREDICT ODDS.

This one is my favourite. When you flip a coin and guess Heads or Tails you have 50/50 chance of being right. Every time, this happens every time. It does not matter if you guessed right 4 times in a row, the chances are still 50/50 each time. The odds don’t change.

The gambler’s fallacy is a glitch in our thinking–once again, we’re proven to be illogical creatures. The problem occurs when we place too much weight on past events and confuse our memory with how the world actually works, believing that they will have an effect on future outcomes (or, in the case of Heads or Tails, any weight, since past events make absolutely no difference to the odds).

5) WE RATIONALIZE PURCHASES WE DON’T WANT.

Every time people buy something they don’t really need, people try to rationalise the purchase. We’re pretty good at convincing ourselves that those flashy, useless, badly thought-out purchases are necessary after all. This is known as post-purchase rationalization or Buyer’s Stockholm Syndrome.

Cognitive dissonance is the discomfort we get when we’re trying to hold onto two competing ideas or theories. For instance, if we think of ourselves as being nice to strangers, but then we see someone fall over and don’t stop to help them, we would then have conflicting views about ourselves: We are nice to strangers, but we weren’t nice to the stranger who fell over. This creates so much discomfort that we have to change our thinking to match our actions–in other words, we start thinking of ourselves as someone who is not nice to strangers, since that’s what our actions proved.

So in the case of our impulse shopping trip, we would need to rationalize the purchases until we truly believe we needed to buy those things so that our thoughts about ourselves line up with our actions (making the purchases).

6) WE MAKE DECISIONS BASED ON THE ANCHORING EFFECT.

Here is long but great examplanation of this mistake we all make.

Dan Ariely is a behavioral economist who gave a TED talks about the irrationality of the human brain when it comes to making decisions.

He illustrates this particular mistake in our thinking superbly, with multiple examples. The anchoring effect essentially works like this: rather than making a decision based on pure value for investment (time, money, and the like), we factor in comparative value–that is, how much value an option offers when compared to another option.

One example is an experiment that Dan conducted using two kinds of chocolates for sale in a booth: Hershey’s Kisses and Lindt Truffles. The Kisses were one penny each, while the Truffles were 15 cents each. Considering the quality differences between the two kinds of chocolates and the normal prices of both items, the Truffles were a great deal, and the majority of visitors to the booth chose the Truffles.

For the next stage of his experiment, Dan offered the same two choices, but lowered the prices by one cent each. So now the Kisses were free, and the Truffles cost 14 cents each. Of course, the Truffles were even more of a bargain now, but since the Kisses were free, most people chose those, instead.

Your loss-aversion system is always vigilant, waiting on standby to keep you from giving up more than you can afford to spare, so you calculate the balance between cost and reward whenever possible. -You Are Not So Smart
Another example Dan offers in his TED talk is when consumers are given holiday options to choose between. When given a choice of a trip to Rome, all expenses paid, or a similar trip to Paris, the decision is quite hard. Each city comes with its own food, culture, and travel experiences that the consumer must choose between.

When a third option is added, however, such as the same Rome trip, but without coffee included in the morning, things change. When the consumer sees that they have to pay 2,50 euros for coffee in the third trip option, not only does the original Rome trip suddenly seem superior out of these two, it also seems superior to the Paris trip. Even though they probably hadn’t even considered whether coffee was included or not before the third option was added.

7) WE BELIEVE OUR MEMORIES MORE THAN FACTS.

Our memories are highly fallible and plastic. And yet, we tend to subconsciously favor them over objective facts. Here is an example:

Suppose you read a page of text and then you’re asked whether the page includes more words that end in “ing” or more words with “n” as the second-last letter. Obviously, it would be impossible for there to be more “ing” words than words with “n” as their penultimate letter (it took me a while to get that–read over the sentence again, carefully, if you’re not sure why that is). However, words ending in “ing” are easier to recall than words like hand, end, or and, which have “n” as their second-last letter, so we would naturally answer that there are more “ing” words.

What’s happening here is that we are basing our answer of probability (that is, whether it’s probable that there are more “ing” words on the page) on how available relevant examples are (for instance, how easily we can recall them). Our troubles in recalling words with “n” as the second last letter make us think those words don’t occur very often, and we subconsciously ignore the obvious facts in front of us.

8) WE PAY MORE ATTENTION TO STEREOTYPES THAN WE THINK WE DO.

The funny thing about lots of these thinking mistakes, especially those related to memory, is that they’re so ingrained.

It’s another one that explains how easily we ignore actual facts:

The human mind is so wedded to stereotypes and so distracted by vivid descriptions that it will seize upon them, even when they defy logic, rather than upon truly relevant facts.

FastCompany

The Sapling Wallet With Custom Signatures

Today I want to present The Wallet for Minimalists with a touch of class. Another project on Kickstarter.
It’s new and wooden. The wallet also benefits from custom name engraving.

Your have couple of choices here between Walnut, Cherry, and Birch wood.

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The wallet is a two piece design with tabs much like you see on folders.
The two wood laminate fibreboard plates are held together by a durable elastic band that allow the wallet to expand.
The Sapling Wallet can carry 1-8 cards comfortably but can carry more if you need to.You won’t need to worry about cards falling out.The elastic holds the cards securely no matter how many cards you have in the wallet at one time.Also you can hold cash under the elastic band on the outside of the wallet.Think of the elastic band as a money clip.

The best part is the wallet is hand-made manufactured, apart from the signature, which is done my laser. Besides, the Sapling wallet is constructed from a laminate wood, similar to what you find in some wood flooring, so it is super durable.

The project has already reached a goal of $1500, but it certainly would benefit form additional funding.

So check it out.

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Running a Social Media Job Searching Campaign

Following success of my last year’s social media campaign, I’m looking for a job using social media once again.

I’m using Facebook Ads, and mine looks like this

Screen shot 2013-05-20 at 13.05.24

I might use Twitter as well, just to get some publicity.

This time I’m looking for a permanent job, it can start with an internship, I don’t mind. As long as there are clear prospects.
I want to work in tech industry on the marketing side.

Please find my CV here and Email here

I have experience in PR, digital advertising, and social media. And the most important part is that I’m crazy about tech.

Preferably I need a job based in London, but if it’s something truly amazing I can relocate.

You can find  ways of contacting me here and some of my takes on recent developments in tech, marketing, and others.

I really hope this venture will work out.

As I did last year, I will blog about all developments and results of the campaign.

So please contant me with interesting offers or just for support.

Buzzfeed, Marketing and ‘Everyone is Crazy’

I love Buzzfeed, I really do. They have cute animals, some stuff about daily life, celebrities, even political journalism, and Ryan Gosling, of course.

But the most important thing is that they collect data on how people view and share their posts. People behind Buzzfeed with this data can predict, to some extent, what things will go viral or not. Their another main advantage is emphasis not as much on the content, but how people will share it later.

I think this is exactly where marketing misses out these days.

In the recent presentation at Techcruch Disrupt NY 2013,  Jonah Peretti, Founder and CEO of BuzzFeed, explained why people like to see pics of cats and dogs and every other animals, like all the time. The reason is “It’s about being human,” said Peretti.

Peretti explained that emotion is part of being a human, and if you don’t feel emotion, you’re probably not a very normal human.

But why is this even important? Well, for one, social media isn’t just about gaming the system. It’s about emotions.

We use social media to project our version of social reality and maintain a virtual identity. Peretti referred specifically to a picture of a left-handed artist’s hand that was shared millions of times on BuzzFeed. Pic just showed the pencil lead smeared across his hand in true left-handed fashion.

“This photo was shared so many times because it involves identity. Left-handed people feel something for this picture.”  Just like we project these pieces of our identity (and thus, our emotions) into the Internet on a daily basis, we also consume social media content based on emotion as well.

And here is the actual presentation.

TechCrunch

Brands and Simplicity

A new report quantifies design and marketing’s most deceptively elusive quality.

Recently “simplicity” became something that everyone is talking about, and it feels like every brand should be simple and have very simplistic approach to marketing. It might be true to some extent.

But the Siegel+Gale Global Brand Simplicity Index attempts to actually define simplicity by polling more than 6,000 consumers on the brands they find most simple (from the clarity of promotional materials to the usability of websites to the actual experience with the company’s products). The report then quantifies simplicity’s dollar value across industries. Their findings are enlightening.

This top 10 represents some incredibly successful companies. Consumers actually are prepared to pay more  for simpler experiences–an average of 3-4.1% more, or what could theoretically equate to $30 billion in revenue.

But what may be even more telling is that social media, despite its meteoric rise to prominence in popular culture, was rated horribly. Twitter fell 23 spots to #93 overall. And Facebook is ranked #118 out of 125 brands, actually dropping 31 spots from last year’s branding index. One of the most recognizable brands in the world is getting destroyed in terms of creating a comprehensible product.

Users say they’re frustrated by Facebook’s ‘incomprehensible’ personal privacy policies, frequent changes to the interface, and a lack of usability in general,” summarizes the report authors.

So simplicity does look like a way to go with branding, design, and marketing. And even Facebook should comes up with some clear and simple profile pages.

via FastCoDesign