Thursday, August 05, 2010

Outmoded Technologies Infect The Web And Undermine Community Identity

Ever wonder why your computer thinks you live in another city? You can thank Nielsen and/or Time Warner and now Google for that.

You see, the media still likes to think we live in huge multi-county conglomerations they call DMA’s or designated market areas like the one in the first image encompassing where I live in Durham.Map of Raleigh-Durham-(Fayetteville) DMA

Then they get frustrated with how long the official names for these designations are so they truncate them to a name where only a small percentage of the people in the designation actually live.

Seems strange that Nielsen would persist with this approach in the day and age of Internet x/y axis but even more strange that Time Warner with cable ability to reach specific homes in specific cities would revert to it and even more ridiculous that Internet giant, Google would revert to such an ancient approach.

But that’s why advertising on the Internet or sites that try to customize to my location think I live in Raleigh when I live in Durham and its why ads streaming across the top of my GMAIL inbox gleefully herald what’s available in Raleigh…even though I’M NOT IN RAALLLLEEEE!

Really weird that a company can ID where I live on a map, show me a street view or aerial of my house and yet uses outmoded market ID’s to send me ads? The purpose of the Nielsen ADA’s is supposedly to help media set ad rates, based on how far signals reach.Idaho Falls-Pocatello DMA

Using the Idaho Falls-Pocatello DMA (shown left) for example, this approach assumes someone up in Jackson Hole Wyoming or Salmon, Idaho might travel all the way to Pocatello to find a Walmart? Are you kidding?

Even the market designations for Anchorage and Spokane shown below are inconsistent with any consumer reality. And we’re to believe the entire state of Utah and part of Nevada are one place called Salt Lake City?

I’ve lived at some point in all of these so-called market areas and they have no relevance to where someone lives. Map of Spokane DMALets hope the geniuses at Google quickly swallow up this old marketing thinking and deep six it. In the meantime, if you’re an advertiser on the web, you’re just pissing people off by using these designations.

Map of Anchorage DMA

1 comment:

Rob said...

I would imagine that this is actually a big deal for Google to want to address. I'm sure many consumers would rather get ads for restaurants within a 10 mile radius, etc.

It seems like honing in on location would really help Google's revenue.