Working in advertisement means you very often get to check out brands you probably never would because of your job. While checking a client's website is the basic of meeting prep, when working in marketing, the brand your clients want you to work on can be ANYTHING: from men's grooming products to computer microchips, from organic pet food to an international airline. Where I want to go in this is how consequently, my newsfeed and other targeted marketing such as banners I see when opening up my Facebook page tend to be a mixture of all of these – and mostly of things I do not care about in my personal life. And this is when I start wondering how geolocation and data gathering strategies are working.
Google, Apple, Facebook can easily figure where I live, how old I am and where I work. Yes, where I work. Therefore know what I do for a living (I also happily give this information away to anyone on LinkedIn too) and that my browsing history might be not reflective at all of my personal interest. There are indeed no picture of me anywhere with an animal on THE Internet as I indeed do not have a pet and the sole reason for me to check out pet food brands is because it is one of my client's activities. As a matter of fact, I think the IP address of machines located in certain strategic areas in NYC should clearly indicate that banner displays and Facebook advertisement are worthless in these places as 80% of browsing activities are client-related and have no link whatsoever with the employees' interests. To some degree, I preferred the basic assumption Facebook was making when starting poring content on news feeds randomly: I am a girl, I am 33, I am therefore interested in hair products, clothes and weight loss strategy. As anti-feminist and cliché-like this was, it was keeping my mind off from work during my time-off – at least.