Many consumers have reservations about online behavioral targeting. By tracking users' online activities, advertisers are able to understand consumers quite well. Advertisers often use technology, such as web bugs and respawning cookies, to maximizing their abilities to track consumers.:60 According to a 2011 survey conducted by Harris Interactive, over half of Internet users had a negative impression of online behavioral advertising, and forty percent feared that their personally-identifiable information had been shared with advertisers without their consent. Consumers can be especially troubled by advertisers targeting them based on sensitive information, such as financial or health status. Furthermore, some advertisers attach the MAC address of users' devices to their 'demographic profiles' so they can be retargeted (regardless of the accuracy of the profile) even if the user clears their cookies and browsing history.
Maintaining the warmth of human interaction at industrial and post-industrial scales is incredibly challenging. It comes naturally only for very-small operations. Balthazar likely kept track of his customer referrals informally in his heads, or through simple bookkeeping if business was good. He would have had to recognize customers’ faces. If he were running a large organization or a popular ecommerce store today, though, he’d have to worry about fraud. How do you tell if someone is real? How do you keep track of everything?
Trust is the foundation of conversions and sales. But building trust should be a goal on its own. The whole concept of content marketing is based on trust and creating long-term relationships. Stop selling and let the people come to you by providing them interesting and useful information. I couldn’t have said it better than Mark Schaefer, the Executive Director of Schaefer Marketing Solutions:
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