Know Your Markets

by Kerry Martin

It’s good to know that some brands aren’t doing as much data mining and surveillance as the NSA.

Today while reading an article on the local Orlando Business Journal, I noticed that the sidebar ad to the right of the story was entirely in Spanish.  Given that I was reading a story in English, on an English-speaking news site, without any previous browsing history of online content in any language other than English, I was a bit perplexed as to why my computer was targeted for viewing the ad that Walmart had designed.

spanish ad1

To be fair, I refreshed the page, and the ad did change to something else in English.  However, when I refreshed it again two more times, the Walmart message popped up again in another ad space and then again in another space.  Obviously Walmart had paid for this specific advertising package with the Business Journals, but it seemed that they had wasted an entire campaign because it was so specifically targeted to one group of consumers.

spanish ad2

spanish ad3

In reading through the Business Journals’ media kit, there is nothing in the demographics about Spanish-speaking readers.  Also, it doesn’t look like there are any intuitive features that allow marketers to display online advertising based on the content of the page, such as those on Google’s search results page.

While I could launch into a long diatribe about the lesson of the story here, I think I’ll just let the ad from the Business Journal (which came up after two more refreshes) speak for itself:

Business Journal ad

One Response to Know Your Markets

  1. Laura says:

    My guess is that a national ad agency, knowing NOTHING of our market, assumed we all speak Spanish.

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