Back in the old days, sometime around 1992, the most information that advertisers could glean about you was your age and where you lived. In today's mobile marketplace, that seems almost quaint.
Modern media companies and their advertisers can parse each page impression down to almost every single attribute of a viewer. They collect data from across all digital platforms, including phones, tablets, desktops, and televisions, and distill it into specific data groups: "working women over 40 who like tennis and live in the Pacific Northwest"; or "men 18-35 who watch Game of Thrones and pay for online transactions with American Express." Thanks to ongoing digital advancements, you can be sure: Advertisers know you — they really know you. And they can target ads that are personalized just for you and your habits.
"When someone visits one of our guides about the best accounting software, we can retarget them on Facebook, Google, and elsewhere with an ad for another piece of content about accounting software, or a direct offer to purchase accounting software," says David Waring, co-founder and editor-in-chief of FitSmallBusiness.com, an online magazine for small business.