Microtargeting is a modern version of target group analysis, a way to know your customer well and meet his expectations as closely as possible. All kinds of data are collected about the client and they are analyzed in order to create a „target-oriented“ profile that predicts his interest as a „target“ in the sector of interest.
The concept rose to new heights as a result of the 2016 US Presidential election campaign, where Cambridge Analytica, which now has completed their activities, collected and used Facebook account data to create accurate voter profiles to the maximum to accommodate accurate influencing messages to affect them.
The CA case shook the world, as the profiling was based on existing human behavioural data on Facebook that was used without the knowledge or permission of the people. It has been claimed that CA had behavioral data on nearly 200 million users and that there were 3000-5000 indicators for each person to base the profiling.
Marketing people have gathered data and used it for predicting the behaviour of clients for a long time. The electronic world has made it possible for them to be all gathered together, but also for gathering large amounts of data on a never before so simple basis, which is why everyone who wants to know their „customers“ is doing it today. One of the most successful public microtargeters in the commercial world is Amazon, who has been working on large data analysis for a long time and has been very successful at it.
Microtargeting is nothing new, nowadays it is simply made easier by the digital footprint left behind in the human electronic environment. Whether browser cookies, the use of client cards in stores, Social Media activities or the use of Google Maps causes it.
It is also logical to try to profit from this mass of data on predicting people’s behaviour.
Photo: Christian Weidinger/CC/Flickr