Do advertisers know you better than you know yourself?

In this day and age, I always come across ads that I know are personalized just for me. Advertising has grown tremendously since the internet. Now companies are able to learn things about consumer buying behavior that they never could have otherwise.

The authors of the article entitled, Online ads know who your are, but can they change you too?, has many interesting points. It states that companies use behavioral targeting to learn about consumer purchasing patterns. Some of the things include what pages you click on or how much time you spend on a particular page. The main point of behavioral targeting is to predict what a consumer will buy in the future.

I think that is a very interesting tactic, and how certain companies already know what I will be buying in the future dependent on my past purchasing and browsing history. This power of marketing is very effective and may even steer consumers into buying things that marketers think they should be buying.

As described within the book, Networks, Crowds, and Markets: Reasoning About a Highly Connected World by David Easley and Jon Kleinberg, advertising is directly tied to search behavior. There is just so much information search engines get just by following a person for one day. I think it is fascinating to think about all of the information that they may have and how they could even know more about you than you may know about yourself.