Phorm is the creator of behavioural technology which promises to provide precision advertising to people, without having to identify them. It’s definitely a breakthrough that affects not only the online advertising, but also brings a new interface to internet security, delivering personalised, safer internet.
Behavioural targeting of advertising over the internet is a blessing both for the advertisers and the consumers. It is known to deliver advertising that has more relevance on a personal level, than any random banner ad may have. If you were to read an article online at a website related to technology, it will be able to notice that you have an interest in technology and so the ads delivered to you might be technology related, like that of latest computers or a new deal on some technological device.
While targeting in general is an extreme assumption and depends on one simple piece of data – the fact that you were reading the article, behavioural targeting is one step ahead. It takes into account your browsing history, too. It looks at what you were going through before you got to the page you are reading at present and then serves you adverts according to this data. By looking at your browsing history, it is basically matching a pattern, making sure that you didn’t just stumble upon the current page and if you’re genuinely interested in it. This makes the adverts it delivers more precise. For example, continuing the previous example of technology-related browsing, if you were browsing cameras and then moved on to computers, it solidifies your interest in technology.
This technology addresses a very significant theme pertaining to the tug-of-war between the demands of individualisation along with the need for privacy. Phorm technology is the only one in the industry that has no massive database for storing personal information that could be compromised by security threats, and it also doesn’t keep track of the sites visited. So, the question remains that what does this technology has to offer for the online advertisement industry?
The internet isn’t a democracy, rather it’s an oligarchy. The popular sites get around 90% of the entire online advertising revenue. That’s only around 50 sites, and the rest of the 50 million sites – the sites responsible for the diversity of the internet – are left with only around $5 on average per site for yearly revenue. This greatly decimates the commercial future for these sites and without an audience, all their hard work for the content is for naught.
Phorm’s technology turns this situation to favor all sites equally so that all of them will have a fair chance to get better revenue. Since it is behavioural, it doesn’t just advertise the cream of the internet to the people. Instead, it delivers the adverts that will likely interest them the most. This ensures that all websites are on a relatively equal footing and even obscure little sites that don’t have many visitors, but have worthwhile content, can make money. This equates to a massive change in the internet economics.