Someone asked on the internet how they can make their country better. They considered themselves ordinary and felt that they had to be someone special to make a difference in their country, India. Their question made me feel a...Read More
An article that can create value consistently is the key to building an uber-successful blog. However, many bloggers find it tough to write what readers love reading. Starting a blog is easy but maintaining it and nurturing it...Read More
Competition is the very essence of the business world. While this might be advantageous for customers who are looking for and choosing a company that serves them well, this is quite tedious and difficult for entrepreneurs. To...Read More
Twelve years ago, I flew to Turkey to meet with a potential client who had specifically told me not to bother boarding the plane. My boss dropped the trip in my lap just days before I had to show up because he wasn’t able to close the deal himself. Even though the client said he […]Read More
by | Apr 6, 2016 | 0 |
Behaviorally targeted ads tend to get a lot of criticism for appearing to invade our privacy. However, a new report in the Journal of Consumer Research argues that targeted ads can beneficially alter a consumer’s perception of themselves — not just the brand that’s advertising to them.
The study, published on March 27, says that targeted ads could even make you donate more money to charity.
“Behavioral targeting” is an online marketing strategy that sends ads to people according to their past browsing history. This contrasts from ads which are targeted according to demographics (your age, gender, location, occupation,) or those ads which are not targeted and are shown to every person viewing that web page.
So how could behavioral targeting make you into a better person?
It all comes down to flattery
In the first study, which used 188 undergraduate students, there were two test groups. Both groups were offered a Groupon voucher for a “sophisticated” restaurant. Group A was told that this was as a result of their earlier browsing history, while Group B was told the ad had been targeted to them because of their demographic information. Group A were considerably more likely to purchase the voucher.
But why was this? The study goes on to suggest that we like ads targeted to us if they portray sophisticated tastes. More than this, if we realize that an ad is targeted, and that it portrays sophisticated tastes, we will in turn believe that we are more sophisticated than we did before seeing the ad.
To prove this, the behavioral scientists again divided participants into two groups. Both were shown ads for a high-end, “sophisticated” watch brand. Group A was told that the ad was targeted at them, while group B was told that it was not. After this, Group A evaluated themselves as more sophisticated than Group B. Group A was also more likely to buy the watch than Group B.
So, this kind of flattery can get consumers to buy more products. This encourages advertisers to be more transparent with targeted ads, when the ads they are targeting imply positive qualities, according to the researchers.
How targeted ads have an effect on users in the longer-run
However, where this gets really interesting is when we look at the effect of targeted ads on our behavior, beyond our immediate purchase intentions.
The third and final study claimed that the message behind the targeted ad (e.g. that we are sophisticated, or pro-environment) will stay with us in other contexts. Group A was given a behaviorally-targeted ad for a “Green, energy-free speaker crafted from sustainably sourced Colombian wood,” — i.e. an environmentally friendly product. The control group was given an ad for the same speaker but with a different description: “sleek, powerful speaker crafted from the hollow body of Colombian wood.”
After this experiment Group A perceived themselves as more green than the participants in the control group. They were more likely to buy the product, and even more likely to donate to a pro-environmental charity.
So, according to the report, by making consumers aware that the ads they are seeing (which imply positive qualities) are targeted to them because of past internet browsing, the viewer can be made to view themselves in a more positive light.
However, the study says nothing about the reverse. What about ads targeted by behaviour that imply more negative traits, like greed, or even un-sophistication? It seems likely that ads which imply these traits could have a correspondingly negative impact on our self-esteem.Read More
by | Feb 28, 2016 | 0 |
Are you a weak leader? I know that’s a tough question to answer. I don’t think there is a single leader that will proclaim,“Yes! I am a weak leader!” At least not publicly. The reality is that you are not as good of a leader as you would like to be. Yes, you are an honest, open, decisive and principled leader, but there is a roadblock to your success. And this roadblock is also adversely affecting the success of your company, the projects you’re running and the team you are building. The degree of your success has little to do with the lack of resources; the basis is in the context of your habits, fears and the opinions of others. So you run into what John C. Maxwell, leadership authority, calls the lid. It’s an invisible, self-imposed, barrier that prevents you from becoming the leader you are meant to be. “Leadership ability is the lid that determines a person’s level of effectiveness. The lower the individual’s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the person’s ability to lead the higher the lid on his potential.” – John C. Maxwell The Mcdonald’s success story that almost wasn’t McDonald’s operates in 118 countries, serves 68 million customers each day, operates over 35,000 restaurants, and employs more than 1.7 million people. But back in 1940, McDonald’s was a single restaurant located at 1398 North E Street at West 14th Street in San Bernardino, California. The founders were brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald. They were skilled entrepreneurs who steadily grew revenue and by developing the “Speedee Service System” the brothers arguably revolutionized the restaurant business. But they were ineffective leaders. Under the McDonald’s leadership, the brothers wanted to keep the franchise to a small number of restaurants. They had weak leadership that in part was due to their limited thinking patterns of what was possible. It took Ray Crock to envision the potential of McDonald’s. Crock was a strong leader who between 1955 – 1963 grew McDonald’s to 500 restaurants. How do you become a better leader? The McDonald’s story is a powerful visual. It paints a picture of what a good leader can build. But how do you become that type of leader? You master influence. “You need someone who understands the limitations inherent in power and chooses to view his or her leadership role as one of influence. Influence is a derivative of power, and it can be wielded more easily and with greater effect.” – Ray Hennessey So if leadership has more to do with influence, how do you earn it? John C. Maxwell touches on four techniques: 1. What have you done? A track record of your accomplishments tells everyone what you have done. It allows you to illustrate your past achievements and gives your followers a reason to trust your leadership. 2. What can you do? We follow a leader, in part, because of what he is capable of doing. We want to feel safe in the knowledge that he can lead us to a better place. If your followers believe that you can deliver, they will follow you. 3. Who are you? Who you attract is determined by who you are. So the better leader you are, the better people your will attract. 4. Who do you know? Leadership is a relationship business. So it goes without saying that building deep relationships is important. The deeper the relationship, the more profound your influence you will have over others. Don’t waste another moment Which of the four methods do you rely on to influence people? Rate them 1 – 4, with one meaning you are highly dependent on it. Once done, ask yourself how you can better optimize 3 and 4? How you can improve your influence requires a degree of self-awareness that can only be accomplished by evaluating your experiences, your life markers. These markers usually are associated with a transformation, change or time of transition. So if you ask yourself better questions your ability to optimize your number 3 and 4 increases significantly. Here are some questions that have helped me: What is my biggest asset? What is my biggest liability? What is my best habit? What is my worst habit? What do I value most? We are not born great leaders. Leadership is a skill that must be nurtured through consistency, discipline, and evaluated experiences. There is a great deal of hard work in becoming a good leader, which is the reason so many leaders are weak. I often wonder what would McDonald’s look like today, if Richard and Maurice intentionally developed their leadership potential. Some pundits would argue that a company does better under the guidance of its founders. What do you think? Please leave your thoughts in the comment section below!Read More
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