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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not usually an impulsive buyer. However, I haven't bought a watch for ages and have the itch - and the carefully saved funds too. There's room in my collection for a couple of pieces and I might well go for a target of opportunity. And, as you might expect, I've been online looking at watches. Hey, Black Friday looms near...

...yet, the one time I wouldn't mind intrusive online advertising metrics profiling me and throwing temptation my way?

Nada. Nothing. Zip.

The Internet is offering me nothing I'd be remotely interested in. I'm getting ads for watches, but they aren't the ones I'd look at in a month of Sundays. I think this is genuinely intriguing.

Do any e-commerce / marketing / data types know why, in this instance, the web is incapable of separating a willing customer from their money?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What are some examples of watch styles you like, and what kind of watches are you being shown instead?
Actually, this post isn't particularly about what I'm looking for, so sorry if I'm giving the wrong impression. I think algorithms should've figured that out by now from my search habits! I'm more interested in how / why the internet fails so badly at a marketing / ecommerce perspective.
 

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Actually, this post isn't particularly about what I'm looking for, so sorry if I'm giving the wrong impression. I think algorithms should've figured that out by now from my search habits! I'm more interested in how / why the internet fails so badly at a marketing / ecommerce perspective.
Im asking because without some context it’s hard for us to know how it’s getting things wrong or why.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Okay, well for example I've been looking at:
  1. Vintage / preowned
  2. Chronographs
  3. Hamilton
  4. Breitling
I'm getting ads for generic retailers who don't sell those watches, or for other brands entirely.
 

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Assuming you are doing nothing to protect your privacy online and offline and all advertisers have complete knowledge of your browsing history, finances and location.. I'd say the manufacturers of the watches you like either don't have the budget/desire to pay for targeted adverts or they believe other people are more likely to buy them and target them instead.
 

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Tudor, Omega and...
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Look at vintage Smith’s, excellent British pedigree … not the modern TF stuff being offered, is an option if not previously considered.
 

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As someone who works on marketing and ecommerce (for very different products), I might venture a guess that the watch market is already a very niche group of consumers, and they might be attempting to make recommendations based on other factors and not necessarily your particular watch interests. Simply saying that “Watches” is likely one category to an ad powerhouse like Google, and they’re not likely to have other specific types of watches. Or if they do, manufacturers choose to ignore the categories in favor of throwing everything they’ve got at whoever likes watches. (Edit, after thinking about it further, I bet this is actually the reason).

“Oh my gosh we found part of the 0.5% of the population that likes watches, let’s throw everything we’ve got at him”! Or “someone searched Chronographs, let’s send all watch ads to them”! They are likely still targeting you for other non-watch criteria (age, location, gender, pay range, etc). I would guess that manufacturers are trying to expand reach… by sending this one product to people who’ve searched for ANY watch brand or ANY watch type, to make sure they hit their campaign targets even though it means that they aren’t always hitting the right person.
 

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Actually, this post isn't particularly about what I'm looking for, so sorry if I'm giving the wrong impression. I think algorithms should've figured that out by now from my search habits! I'm more interested in how / why the internet fails so badly at a marketing / ecommerce perspective.
From my own personal experience, advertising algorithms are rubbish. I have a good disposable income, and have many hobbies and interests; I participate in several online enthusiast forums/ communities, and make lots of purchases online.

I can honestly say that I have never had a targeted ad in any browser window on any website which has resulted in me clicking it open- much less purchasing anything. I've often thought that if targeted online advertising can't sell anything to me, then the whole thing is a bit suspect.

In fact, there was an article in the New Yorker not long back that investigated this very issue- and it seems that although 'clicks' are measured and used to price advertising etc, the data about actual sales resulting from those clicks is surprisingly weak...
 

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You are looking at it from the micro level while targeted ads are aimed at the macro. While they may not work on you rest assured they are working. It may be possible to better target your area of interest, but it's far easier to go after the low hanging fruit.
 

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From my own personal experience, advertising algorithms are rubbish. I have a good disposable income, and have many hobbies and interests; I participate in several online enthusiast forums/ communities, and make lots of purchases online.

I can honestly say that I have never had a targeted ad in any browser window on any website which has resulted in me clicking it open- much less purchasing anything. I've often thought that if targeted online advertising can't sell anything to me, then the whole thing is a bit suspect.

In fact, there was an article in the New Yorker not long back that investigated this very issue- and it seems that although 'clicks' are measured and used to price advertising etc, the data about actual sales resulting from those clicks is surprisingly weak...
It's odd. Google very often seems to know what I'm going to search for when I've only just thought about it. It's kinda creepy. Pinterest also knows me pretty well. That doesn't extend to advertising though, although that's probably more to do with the fact that I use uBlock Origin, so I rarely ever see an online ad at all. Which is what I want, because I universally despise advertisements.

When it comes to things I might buy though, I'd imagine I'm far too niche of a customer for it to make any sense to target me in such a granular way. Watches, bows, kayaks and accessories related to those three things. I don't know what kind of an ad budget Elite or Hoyt might have, but I doubt it's enough for them to bother spending a bunch on Google ads that will likely get them little to no ROI.

If I were them, I'd send out review samples to YouTubers, put some effort into an instagram page, and go to whatever archery shows. I'm not sure I'd spend a single dime on a banner ad.
 

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I would imagine that this place might serve up some alternatives that come with unbiased comment. I occasionally click through an Instagram ad for a watch based on appearance but it rarely goes any further.

On a slightly parallel subject, the worst online promotional presence at the moment is Rolex. Their material is mind bendingly plain and uninspiring. Yet I love the brand - but the ads were never the reason I was attracted to it.
 
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I think it is what the actual advertising dude said - small market, not enough advertising dollars to micro target.

I have never spent more than $500 on a watch. Google knows this I'm sure. Yet my YouTube ads are FULL of rolex material.
 

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I’ve found targeted ads to be pretty on the nose in some areas but very much less so in others. Two of my main searched interests are triathlon/endurance sports and watches. When it comes to the running and biking stuff, it’s usually quite good. It seems to even be aware that there are prosumer level items that would likely appeal to me as a consistent searcher slash buyer of these things…for example, I won’t just see an ad for Saucony running shoes, which is already sort of obscure, but one specifically highlighting their endorphin pro carbon plate model and a price change on that. Or bikes…I am never fed $250 Schwinn. Always, if anything, carbon bikes on pros closet that even more expensive and niche than I’d personally buy.

but with watches, now that it’s been brought up, I can’t say that it’s even nearly so good. I’m likely just to get a smattering of jomashop sale items that really have little bearing on my actual interests.

so I don’t know what we take from that. Maybe that watches can’t or aren’t parsed in the way the other things are because their differences are primarily subjective? In the sense that they all tell time and I’m just as likely to be into one as another, where something like a runners hydration vest would only appeal to a very specific runner who would require that kind of equipment?

just spitballing now but I do feel like there’s a marked difference. I have clicked on a lot of fitness ads due to their accuracy but virtually never watch ones outside of boredom. Could even be those clicks resulting in better parsing? Who knows
 
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