Here's a graph for you to get your head around why there's so many intrusive ads on the internet;

Did you count them all, did they stick in your mind, if so you must have great eyesight?

No, me neither, but this list includes the 7000+ Ad Tech companies who are using their technology to bombard us with those intrusive adverts.

Its from a really interesting article from the New York Times (link below) which discusses the over reliance on the 'programmatic' algorithm' and the data privacy issues it creates, as follows;

"perhaps the algorithms are right much of the time! But the decision to segment, mine and target us in a complex 7,040 company ecosystem that largely removes humans from the process, seems destined to fail in the long run". 

Many of these algorithms rely on lots of different data points, they use these in an attempt to work out what we did, in order to try and guess what we might do, then serve what the system(s) think is most relevant to us. 

With some degree of accuracy they can probably predict that your Wife is pregnant before she even tells you, and that your looking for a new car, again before you've even had chance to talk it through with your Husband, scary stuff eh!

To be honest the principles around these types of algorithms have been around in home shopping and eCommerce land for some time, even Amazon use the same principle when they show you stuff you are buying (or bought) to reflect back at you that 'people who bought this, also bought that'. In mail order and eCommerce its known as 'propensity modelling', same thing different title and it works on certain similar behavioral traits you and me exhibit when we browse or make a purchase.

An awful lot of these algorithms are also used to track peoples 'political' and religious behaviors online to help understand 'sentiment' around beliefs. And to do all of this requires them the ability to be able to track and cross track almost everything we do with our unwitting digital footprints. 

Which is one of the key reasons they can intrude into your digital space without you even knowing why, or how they got all that info, you might say that its fair game, after all if I'm in the market for some of these things and that advert pops up at the right time, well, you might just be inclined to 'click' on it, and of those 7k+ companies just made some money.

But and awful lot of evidence says its all still quite intrusive, however if you applied to same thinking to what your customers, and potential prospects are saying on social media and it could help to stimulate a conversation instead of an intrusive advert, what would you want to say?