Ad tracking, also known as post-testing or ad effectiveness tracking, is in-market research that monitors a brand’s performance including brand and advertising awareness, product trial and usage, and attitudes about the brand versus their competition.
Depending on the speed of the purchase cycle in the category, tracking can be done continuously (a few interviews every week) or it can be “pulsed,” with interviews conducted in widely spaced waves (ex. every three or six months). Interviews can either be conducted with separate, matched samples of consumers, or with a single (longitudinal) panel that is interviewed over time.
Since the researcher has information on when the ads launched, the length of each advertising flight, the money spent, and when the interviews were conducted, the results of ad tracking can provide information on the effects of advertising.
The purpose of ad tracking is generally to provide a measure of the combined effect of the media weight or spending level, the effectiveness of the media buy or targeting, and the quality of the advertising executions or creative.
Advertisers use the results of ad tracking to estimate the return on investment (ROI) of advertising, and to refine advertising plans. Sometimes, tracking data are used to provide inputs to Marketing Mix Models which marketing science statisticians build to estimate the role of advertising, as compared to pricing, distribution and other marketplace variables on sales of the brand.
There are several different tools to track online ads: banner ads, ppc ads, pop-up ads, and other types. Several online advertising companies such as Google offer their own ad tracking service (Google Analytics) in order to effectively use their service to generate a positive ROI. Third-party ad tracking services are commonly used by affiliate marketers. Affiliate marketers are frequently unable to have access to the order page and therefore are unable to use a 3rd-party tool. Many different companies have created tools to effectively track their commissions in order to optimize their profit potential. The information provided will show the marketer which advertising methods are generating income and which are not and allows him to effectively allocate his budget.
Internet privacy involves the right or mandate of personal privacy concerning the storing, repurposing, provision to third parties, and displaying of information pertaining to oneself via of the Internet. Internet privacy is a subset of data privacy. Privacy concerns have been articulated from the beginnings of large scale computer sharing.
Privacy can entail either Personally Identifying Information (PII) or non-PII information such as a site visitor's behavior on a website. PII refers to any information that can be used to identify an individual. For example, age and physical address alone could identify who an individual is without explicitly disclosing their name, as these two factors are unique enough to typically identify a specific person.
Some experts such as Steve Rambam, a private investigator specializing in Internet privacy cases, believe that privacy no longer exists; saying, "Privacy is dead – get over it". In fact, it has been suggested that the "appeal of online services is to broadcast personal information on purpose." On the other hand, in his essay The Value of Privacy, security expert Bruce Schneier says, "Privacy protects us from abuses by those in power, even if we're doing nothing wrong at the time of surveillance."
Risks to Internet privacy
Companies are hired to watch what internet sites people visit, and then use the information, for instance by sending advertising based on one's browsing history. There are many ways in which people can divulge their personal information, for instance by use of "social media" and by sending bank and credit card information to various websites. Moreover, directly observed behaviour, such as browsing logs, search queries, or contents of the Facebook profile can be automatically processed to infer potentially more intrusive details about an individual, such as sexual orientation, political and religious views, race, substance use, intelligence, and personality. Further, even without any historical behavioural data, there are a large number of insights which can be generated solely by tracking onsite user interaction like post code, name and local address.
Those concerned about Internet privacy often cite a number of privacy risks — events that can compromise privacy — which may be encountered through Internet use. These range from the gathering of statistics on users to more malicious acts such as the spreading of spyware and the exploitation of various forms of bugs (software faults).
Several social networking sites try to protect the personal information of their subscribers. On Facebook, for example, privacy settings are available to all registered users: they can block certain individuals from seeing their profile, they can choose their "friends", and they can limit who has access to one's pictures and videos. Privacy settings are also available on other social networking sites such as Google Plus and Twitter. The user can apply such settings when providing personal information on the internet.
In late 2007 Facebook launched the Beacon program where user rental records were released on the public for friends to see. Many people were enraged by this breach in privacy, and the Lane v. Facebook, Inc. case ensued.
Children and adolescents often use the Internet (including social media) in ways which risk their privacy: a cause for growing concern among parents. Young people also may not realise that all their information and browsing can and may be tracked while visiting a particular site, and that it is up to them to protect their own privacy. They must be informed about all these risks. For example, on Twitter, threats include shortened links that lead one to potentially harmful places. In their email inbox, threats include email scams and attachments that get them to install malware and disclose personal information. On Torrent sites, threats include malware hiding in video, music, and software downloads. Even when using a smartphone, threats include geolocation, meaning that one's phone can detect where they are and post it online for all to see. Users can protect themselves by updating virus protection, using security settings, downloading patches, installing a firewall, screening email, shutting down spyware, controlling cookies, using encryption, fending off browser hijackers, and blocking pop-ups.
However most people have little idea how to go about doing many of these things. How can the average user with no training be expected to know how to run their own network security (especially as things are getting more complicated all the time)? Many businesses hire professionals to take care of these issues, but most individuals can only do their best to learn about all this.
In 1998, the Federal Trade Commission in the USA considered the lack of privacy for children on the Internet, and created the Children Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). COPPA limits the options which gather information from children and created warning labels if potential harmful information or content was presented. In 2000, Children's Internet Protection Act (CIPA) was developed to implement safe Internet policies such as rules[clarification needed], and filter software. These laws, awareness campaigns, parental and adult supervision strategies and Internet filters can all help to make the Internet safer for children around the world.
This page was last updated January 18th, 2018 by kim
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