Do Not Track Legislation - Will it pass?
Are you aware of the new legislation to limit the option for advertisers to track consumers activity online? The "Do Not Track" law is in debate. An example of the discussion can be found on PCWorld at: PCWorld article on California’s Do Not Track Legislation (quotes NetChoice)
If you prefer to listen to a podcast: Direct Download (right click and save) an interview with Carl Szabo from NetChoice.org discussing Do Not Track Legislation on Website Magazine.
The podcast interview is to challenge the thought process not to create agreement.
In essence, advertisers are able to target ads in the web browser based on browsing history. If you are a shoe freak and visited a few websites about shoes, don't be surprised when the advertising banners begin to pop up which are all about shoes. Your browser has revealed your secret about being passionate about shoes to the world.
It is already in the hands of the consumer to control the "do not track" inside Firefox, Internet Explorer and Chrome as you can read about on CNET News:
Given that browsers already have the ability to give control to the consumer, maybe a warning label will suffice just as on packages of cigarettes? Or a warning label could be placed on websites who track which says: "Warning: We are watching and tracking you."
The argument might be that giving consumers more of what they are looking for is a "service". Another point is that targeted marketing is more effective than non-targeted marketing. (No news here.)
Another point of view might be that the browser on someone's computer must not be controlled or manipulated by a company for the purpose of perpetual persuasion. It is common knowledge that it takes many touchpoints to gain the attention of potential buyers. Given enough money, how can the unsuspecting public have opinions shaped and manipulated via the computer screen? Memories of outlawing subliminal pursuasion in advertising come to mind.
Targeted marketing is nothing new. Credit card purchases, subscriptions, surveys, geography, associations, employment, etc., are all past methods to put buyers into databases to sort and target. Unique Personal Invitations is one of the 5 Essentials to Business Success and which can be a form of targeted marketing.
As an entrepreneur or small business owner, it becomes very important to know in advance who might be interested in products before approaching someone to say "Look at my stuff." This can be helpful to the buyer and the seller.
As a small business owner, the opportunity to buy advertising services which take advantage of tracking online may not be an option. Larger pocket books have a better chance of maximizing opportunities. Guerrilla marketing is about innovation and time vs. throwing big budgets at a marketing campaign.
For low or no cost options, consider a few ways to track information online now:
Ad Tracking CGI Scripts
This script is a link creator, tracker, disguiser and manager all in one. Prolinkz lets you create uniquely coded links that redirect to any URL you specify while counting every hit and referral.
LnkinLite is a simple way to track clickthroughs. This free script will enable you to easily keep track of the number of clicks a specific link receives. Instead of using your standard link within your advertising, you can use a link created by this script. It will track the number of clickthroughs and instantly redirect your visitors to your URL.
This very popular script AdTrackZ enables you to set up an entire ad tracking campaign including statistical reports for referring URLs, what browsers your visitors have installed, what operating systems your visitors are using and much more.
Ad Tracking Services
LinkCounter is a free service that tracks the clickthrough rates of your links. LinkCounter also hides the URL of the link destination. This will prevent users from removing or changing your affiliate ID when visiting an affiliate site through your link. This might be considered bad form by the search engines. Hiding destinations to domain names can backfire.
The PRO version of HyperTracker contains a number of advanced features including: unlimited advertising campaigns, tracking sales and actions, special scripts that let you promote your own website address in your campaigns and much more.
Adminder is an online tracking system that will enable you to track an entire advertising campaign. You can see how many visitors were generated by each of your ads, keep track of sales that were generated by each ad and calculate the
cost-per-click, cost-per-sale, and click-to-sale ratios for each ad.
Hubspot has a built in system to track campaigns, click-throughs and even more information about a lead. Knowing in advance which pages a visitor reviewed as well as the frequency and length of time they spent is helpful when determining how to be of better service.
You can start a 30 day free trial today:
You will note that the scripts and tools above will be in question as well when debating the "Do Not Track" legislation.
Where does the line get drawn? What can be tracked? Which websites need to give the option to turn tracking off? With control in the browsers already in place, is that enough?
Tracking is a marketing tool to increase effectiveness and to serve. However, tracking might lead to predators and greed taking over people's lives. In the end, there will be more talk and the laws will be made to control predators which will affect the whole.
You can start a 30 day free Hubspot trial today. Tracking campaigns is only one of the many benefits.