On Line Marketing: A Mixed Blessing.

I’m finally going to get a treadmill. I need the exercise, but I hate the gearing up and the 15-minute drive to the gym. So the other day, I spent an hour or so on the internet looking at treadmills. I bought one, too.  But ever since, several of the web sites I frequent now have prominent ads … for treadmills.

 Not always, however. There are also ads for the Hotel Athena in Siena, Italy, or for the San Luca Palace Hotel in the little town of Lucca. I’m planning a trip to Italy and I spent some time on those web sites a few days ago. Both hotels seem quite charming and they get great reviews, but I haven’t booked rooms yet. I suppose that means their ads will keep popping up until I do.

The technology that makes such targeted advertising possible is really impressive, isn’t it? The internet advertising experts tell us this new level of marketing sophistication is “a convenience” we consumers should appreciate … that precious time is saved if products and services which the computers have determined suit our incomes and lifestyles are served up to us on an electronic platter. 

It’s impressive, that I will admit, but I just know there’s a state-of-the-art computer somewhere that’s busily compiling every tiny little tidbit of information about me. And the damn thing never sleeps. I’m really not comfortable with that.

On the other hand, I just now went to a news site and the ad on the page was promoting my book, ALL ABOARD-The Complete North American Train Travel Guide. The new edition is due out around January 1st and I guess it’s appearing on computer screens of people who have visited web sites having to do with trains or travel.  I suppose that’s an intrusion I can live with.