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Targeted digital advertising: The mega-trend under your nose

As a self-directed investor, you probably keep busy. At times when you are online, (for example, now) you most likely multitask. So here’s a question that’s very important to advertisers, but one you probably don’t get asked much: how many tabs or browser windows do have open at this moment? Most likely, the answer is quite a few. Here’s a 2010 article from Slate reporting that men generally keep 4.45 tabs open at a time, while for women it’s a mere 3.86. I’m going to go out on a limb and suggest that the number has probably gone up over the last seven years, and not down.

This is important for advertisers, because the more tabs you look at — even briefly — the greater the chance that you will see an advertisement that hits you right in the sweet spot. To hit that sweet spot, an ad must pertain directly to one of your personal interests. The ad is a miss unless you are so interested in the topic that you will knowingly click on an ad just to find out more about it. (Trying to hide that your ad is an ad is way-yesterday.) Also, the ad should take you to a product or service that you know you want and have even considered purchasing.

“Wait,” you may say, “you are describing an almost ludicrously small target. At any given time there may be one, two, or even zero products that possibly fit that description for me.” Yep. But that’s the target advertisers are aiming for, and they’re getting surprisingly good at hitting it. Today, I’m going over a few companies that are making this happen. As always, remember to treat these ideas as just that, ideas, and do your own research before making any investment decision.

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Julian Close

Julian Close became a stockbroker in 1995. In his 20 years of market experience, he has seen all market conditions and written about every aspect of investing. Julian has also written extensively on corporate best practices and even written reports for the United Nations. He graduated from Davidson College in 1993 and received a Master of Arts in Teaching from Mary Baldwin College in 2011. You can see closing trades for all Julian's long and short positions and track his long term performance via twitter: @JulianClose_MIC.