Facebook is watching me. So is Google. So is the Government, apparently. I read the news. I see the Facebook statuses. I listen to the radio. So, now everyone knows I bought my husband some shorts. Everyone, now even you know. I bought some shorts! I bought some shorts!
I bought the shorts a week ago and ever since I have had ads in my stream, in my side bars, in my everything for the exact same shorts. Now, I could go on and on about privacy issues and how this is against our constitution, but I think I will leave that to better writers than I. Nope, instead, I am going to complain about how this is the worst marketing strategy ever. I have already bought the shorts. Three pair to be exact. It’s done. It’s over. I’ve been sold on the product, obviously. Showing me the exact same product every time I turn on the Internet is not going to make me buy more of the exact same product (unless they are 95% off and I lurve them so, so much). How many shorts can a person wear? My husband gets new clothes when the old ones are practically falling off his back. He’s not exactly a fashionista, which Google should know because according to my spam box Google reads my blog pretty regularly. Also, my every move is being tracked, so, seriously, they should know more about my families clothes preferences than I do.
Facebook should know better too. Don’t they pay marketing geniuses large amounts of money to set up algorithms and ad campaigns and all of that stuff? I mean, don’t they know if a person just bought shorts it might be better to try to sell them some T-shirts, some socks, maybe a few other essentials? Or maybe a vacation to wear those shorts on? Couldn’t this information they have collected be put to better use, I mean from a marketing perspective?
It amazes me that with all of the data collection and selling opportunities available to these marketing gurus (and big companies) that they still manage to get it so very, very wrong. I mean, if I buy a refrigerator online do they really think I will buy another one the next day and another one the day after that? I don’t think so. I mean I know very little about marketing, but even I know most people only need one refrigerator and just a few pair of shorts. Do the people buying these ads know their product is being marketed to someone who just bought said product and probably won’t buy that product again for another decade? Would they pay for those ads if they knew? I mean, I thought the point of these online ads was to target very specific people. Maybe I have it all wrong. Maybe other people keep buying shorts day after day after day…and refrigerators too, but I doubt it.
Anyway, I can’t help but wonder, if the people and corporations trying to sell us stuff can get things this wrong, what’s the government going to do with all of my information? I mean, corporations have the money to attract the best, brightest and most talented employees out there, right? I am a bit concerned that the best they can do with all of the data they have collected about me (and trust me, I am on the Internet a lot) is to try to sell me the same old pair of shorts I bought last week, which to be completely honest, I am really tired of looking at (and they haven’t even arrived at my house yet). The algorithms need some work, obviously. So, what if the government’s algorithms are even less fine tuned or less accurate than Facebook and Google’s? That’s a little frightening to think about. In the big scheme of things, shorts are pretty inconsequential, but if the same technology is being used to determine who is a good guy and who isn’t, I think we might be in for a heap of trouble.
P.S. If you are reading this one Google spam-writer, please stop trying to sell me what I just bought. Pass it on to Facebook. Thank you.