29-06-2018 by Fernando Azevedo

What is the best way, time, and content to further engage your interest?

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The Dangers of MicroTargeting

The Dangers of MicroTargeting


MicroTargeting is a marketing strategy that uses consumer data and demographic information to create subsets / audience segments. It is possible to predict the buying behavior of such individuals with related ideas and to influence such behavior through hyper-directed advertising. Micro-segmentation is a highly effective political campaign tactic.

It’s not just your activity on Facebook, but the activity of all the sites you visit. Every click, every address, every tanned, every share, until the time you take reading an article is recorded to understand its behavior. Everything is controlled by cookies in your browser that monitor every move.

When creating segments, marketing companies can create dozens or hundreds of articles to better influence each person. And the software still controls what to display on your computer screen, on your mobile screen, and the right time to send the advertisement to your Facebook feed.

When a person interacts with a microtargeting article, everything is recorded: their clicks, their time on the page, their tastings, shares and comments. These interactions feed the artificial intelligence software to better influence that segment with the article in question and the next articles that will be created as well.

It is so scary that it has resulted in the privacy scandal of Facebook and Cambridge Analytica and also in the GDPR (General Regulation of Data Protection) in Europe. Facebook promises to list the names of political advertisers and Twitter wants to ban totally paid advertising politics, but e-commerce continues to use microtargeting.

One week before my 37th birthday, I saw a Facebook sponsored post “How People Invest Before They’re 37” – that’s microtargeting. I clicked and read the story. I bet they have article variations for each age.

Sales Funnel

According to the website Agendor, the sales funnel is a representation of the journey of its customers, which begins the moment they have the first contact with your brand and extends until the purchase. That is, until the customer becomes a buyer, he goes through the steps: attention, interest, desire and purchase.

The first step of the sales funnel is to spread the news and bring visitors. It is a costly process because only a small fraction of visitors actually become buyer. Then, microtargeting is already starting to act in this first step, trying to catch the attention of visitors who are more likely to make the purchase, thus spending less resources on the first promotion.

From the first visit to the site, all visitor movements are recorded. Where he clicked, whether he signed the newsletter, which newsletter release he opened, how much time he spent, whether there was sharing, tasting or comment …

These data are fed into artificial intelligence software, or machine learning, so the system can tell you when to better hook the client to the next steps of the funnel. Now that visitors know that the product exists, what is the best way, time and content to further capture their interest? By email? Why Facebook or Instagram? Night or day? And with which article?
And after the visitor understands the product and the service, how do you complete the sale? Does he need a discount? Or do you need to know that people on the same social level are already customers? Need a promotion with an expiration date next to create a sense of urgency?

Microtargeting attempts to answer these questions to get the best result because it joins data from all the steps that existing buyers have taken and segments them into different profiles.

For the HubSpot company, when the customer contacts a salesperson, they have access to all their activity within the sales funnel and the software still gives tips to these sellers, showing what is important to the customer and helping them closing the sale

Now let’s stop and think: restaurants, travel, leisure, car, cell phone, shirt, accessories, your drink from Friday night. Are we making our own choices for ourselves? Or is there a microtargeting campaign influencing our behavior?