I am a loyal reader of anything from Farhad Manjoo and this piece in The New York Times today is no exception.
The gist of it is that while marketing used to be as non-targeted as carpet bombing (not his expression), but now, because so much is known about on online user contextually, ads can be much more targeted, a point made in some detail in this TEDx talk.
The problem I have with Manjoo’s column today is that it overlooks a key piece in the path. Our privacy. It’s a sadly one-sided argument to talk about how awesome it will be when marketers know so much more about us that they can put just the right razor blade ad at the right person at the right time to sell the right product. What we really need is user control of our bio and data so we can decide when we want those sorts of ads. It won’t be until we have a better balance between privacy and marketing that we will really achieve progress in digital marketing.