William Joseph Communications

Understanding Online Targeted Advertising

Imagine for a moment you are looking for some new shoes. After visiting a few online stores, you find the perfect pair. You decide to sleep on it and jump over to an unrelated site to check the hockey scores from last night. To your surprise, you notice a banner ad for the very pair of shoes you were looking at. “That’s odd,” you say, “I was just looking at those.” You shrug it off and decide to watch a video about cats being cute. “What’s this?” Nestled in with the other ads, it’s the ad for your shoes again! This is not your very own version of “The Truman Show,” this is online targeted advertising. It is also known as interest-based advertising.

While people think this is a new phenomenon, targeted advertising has been with us since the late 90s. Advertisers worked very much like they had with TV. If you wanted to reach women between the ages of 20 – 30 years old, you would place your ad on a website that catered to their interests. It has only been recently that advertising has got a lot more intelligent. By using browsing habits mined from users anonymously to make advertising more personalized, targeted ads began following people across the Web.


Today, this type of marketing is everywhere and people aren’t exactly sure what to think about it. When surveyed, a majority of people didn’t really like the idea that their browsing data can be tracked. In some circles, people believe it is akin to an invasion of privacy. But how do advertisers collect this information and more importantly, what do they actually do with it?

Despite what some movies depict, there is no smoke filled room with people watching you surf. It’s all done with algorithms and you have the option to block if you want to.

How Online Targeted Advertising is Done

The two main ways advertisers track, is by cookies or your IP address. Cookies are small text files that are downloaded by your browser when you visit some websites. Cookies generally collect and store information that is associated with your web browser, including information such as website preferences, login information, or a user ID. They are there for your convenience, by loading your previously entered information. Advertisers also use this feature to track what page you visit on their site as well as how long you spend on it etc. The other way, is using the IP address used by your internet connection. Essentially, it’s like a building address but for your computer. For example, you may find that targeted ads seem to be much different while using the Wi-Fi at work then when you are on Wi-Fi at home. Advertisers using this technique can see where you go but if the connection is shared with people of varying demographics, you might find the ads don’t always line up with your interests.


Consumer Benefits:  This makes the ads you see online actually interesting to you instead of just noise getting in the way of content you are trying to consume.

Advertiser Benefits:  It allows them the opportunity to advertise to a captive audience. This helps “cut the fat” and spend their media purchasing budget more wisely. By only advertising to those who have a leaning to the product or service they are offering, they can be more effective and more profitable.


The Network Advertising Initiative conducted a study in 2009 measuring the pricing and effectiveness of targeted advertising. Here are their findings:

As the advertiser, you get the opportunity to speak to a greater number of people interested in your message. As the consumer, you get the opportunity to see ads you actually want to know more about. All in all, targeted marketing can be a huge benefit to both the advertiser and the consumer when it’s done the right way.

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Friday, December 7th, 2018 at 2:37pm
We love our incredible clients and are grateful to work with them everyday! So, we were super excited this week when we got to be Santa and deliver WJ presents to all of them! #YXE team with @PattisonKids https://t.co/UYH4zKtBVd wj_agency photo
Tuesday, December 4th, 2018 at 1:28pm
Check out Ryan's latest Global Saskatoon ADvice segment on how to maximize your marketing efforts during the holiday season! https://t.co/i4lvSYxTon
Monday, December 3rd, 2018 at 1:55pm
A Christmas gift for you all! We are hosting a holiday session to help our business owner/marketing manager friends get a jump start on their marketing for 2019. We have a few spots left so we hope you can join us this Wednesday, Dec 5th at 11:30 a.m.! https://t.co/VBimH6XZYu
Friday, November 30th, 2018 at 12:32pm
Because we know Santa visits all of our locations, here are a few shots of our Saskatoon office! We are BIG Christmas fans at WJ! https://t.co/2bVmRK6lfT wj_agency photo
Wednesday, November 28th, 2018 at 2:01pm
Do you work in a science or biotech-based industry? Check out our latest blog to learn how to reach targeted audiences effectively with strategic marketing! https://t.co/kHKZ2gF1lQ #marketing #science #biotech


William Joseph Communications

We are the difference between momentary achievement and enduring success.Your success requires an agency that offers a fully integrated solution. One that has the vision to see beyond your current borders and the troops to guide you there. With us as your allies, be confident that you can achieve your boldest ambitions. At William Joseph we offer complete marketing solutions composed of strategies, tactics, and designs that effectively tell your story and address your unique marketing goals. Everything from advertising campaigns to experiential design, our team takes your corporate identity and translates it through a wide array of mediums to successfully champion your company.
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsMonday, December 10th, 2018 at 12:00pm
In the spirit of the holiday season, we ask you to support our client, the Central Alberta Child Advocacy Centre, and participate in this year's Dream Home Lottery.

The proceeds from this event will go to support the Centre and its mission to empower children and families impacted but abuse.

We're so incredibly humbled to work with such a wonderful organization and are proud of the brand we were able to create for them!
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph CommunicationsFriday, December 7th, 2018 at 5:10pm
We love our incredible clients and are grateful to work with them everyday! So, we were super excited this week when we got to be Santa and deliver WJ presents to all of them! Check out Preston and Monique from the YXE office dropping off flowers to the team at Jim Pattison Children's Hospital Foundation!
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William Joseph Communications added 13 new photos — with Victoria MacLean Reade.Thursday, December 6th, 2018 at 11:22pm
Thanks everyone for coming out to our Christmas Ryan’s Roundup! Everyone left with a little gift from WJ and a lot of holiday spirit. See you all in 2019!
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William Joseph CommunicationsThursday, December 6th, 2018 at 4:59pm
William Joseph was featured in Calgary's Business today!

Despite the many ups and downs of our economy, William Joseph has continued to grow as a business every year since our inception, and for that we are incredibly grateful.

As we finish our 15th year of business, we've had a lot of time to reflect and look back on our journey. Click the link to read more.
William Joseph Communications
William Joseph Communications added 8 new photos.Wednesday, December 5th, 2018 at 11:32pm
William Joseph was out tonight celebrating the holidays with our great partner, Ranchman’s! Thanks Doug and Wendy for hosting such a wonderful party. I wonder if Santa asked our CEO if he was naughty or nice?!?


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