Contextual Advertising

Got Good Credit? Google Wants to Serve You Targeted Ads.

As a website owner myself, I have explored several different contextual ad platforms, and Google has always seemed to be ahead of their competitors in the ability to target ads.  Now they’re about to take that to a whole new level, getting much more personal with web visitors and the ads the target to them.  According to MediaPost, Google has been testing the ability to lay consumer FICO scores on top of its Google Content Network to identify people with good credit, which will in turn enable them to help advertisers target specific types of consumers through display and text ads.

Google senior industry marketing manager of financial services, Masha Korsunsky, explained how partnering with Compete, they’ve tapped into the research firm’s 2 million U.S. consumers who opt into these kinds of projects.  So how does it all work?

As Korsunsky explains, an example would be an advertiser wanting to reach consumers with high FICO scores that applied for mortgages in the first quarter.  Google can then provide that advertiser with a list of websites that are a part of their Google Content Network that index against this population segment.    He says that the Google Content Network can reach 70% of credit card applications, 87% of mortgage applications, and 90% of people who visit small business sites with high FICO scores.

While these ” high credit worthy consumers” are obvious targets for the financial industry that’s eager to take on those with the ability to pay back loans and lines of credit, other advertising markets would also find this to be a very desirable group to advertise to.  That would include areas such as luxury travel, retail, and hotels.  After all, these are the people with money.  The logic here is simple – they’ll get a much better return on investment by targeting their ads to consumers who are actually eligible to get a loan and pay it off or who can afford whatever high-end product they’re pitching.

From the standpoint of an advertiser, I can see how this would be a very worthwhile advertising method.   It might come off as a bit weird to some consumers, but to me it’s acceptable because people have opted-in to these kinds of programs.  Now if they were utilizing the credit information of people who hadn’t opted-in, then it would find it extremely creepy and unethical.