Two years ago, or more, I talked to a friend of mine about how eventually the Web will become so good at collating seemingly unrelated “aggregate” data that it will know who is watching what (and why) and in near-real time. That’s the advertising Holy Grail.
We are getting closer and closer to that – and I predicted 20 years. I was wrong. Five years from now, at most.
Advertisers can also target ads beyond keywords and specific publishers. Adbrite determines demographic data for visitors to network publishers via a cookie and reverse IP lookup. They grab U.S. census data based on the zip code of the visitor, which gives them data on ethnicity and income level. Adbrite also looks at Comscore data for each site that user visits, which gives them reasonalby good age and gender data. Once a user visits enough sites, Adbrite has a very good idea of the age, gender, ethnicity and income level of that particular user. Advertisers can then choose to target their ads to certain users. In the future, Adbrite says they will be able to track even more information on a user in the future – such as if they are a new parent, or looking for a car – based on the sites they visit.