Five Creepy Marketing Facts

by | Oct 22, 2016 | Digital Marketing | 0 comments

With Halloween coming up this weekend, we thought we would write about creepy marketing techniques that companies do to engage you. If you think we missed one, feel free to let us know what you feel is creepy in today’s marketing world.

1. Facebook

Facebook knows everything about you. It doesn’t just stop at age, sex, and location. Facebook knows your income, net worth, job title, anniversary date, the age of your children, your political views, the devices that you use, and much more. How do they know this? You tell them in everything that you do while using Facebook.

Facebook tracks who you interact with and what articles you linger on in your news feed. You don’t just have to click on something, they track how long it takes you to scroll.

All of this is done so that they can use this information to get marketers to use it in order to target you with highly specific advertising. Facebook is making over $7B per quarter. Your personal information is the key driver for that revenue.

2. Google

Google is the original personal information gathering company. Unless to tell them not to, Google keeps your entire search history on their servers to better get to know you. Now, with Android and the Chrome browser, they can track your location and browsing history. Need proof, check out

3. Login with…

Logging into anything with Facebook or Google comes with strings attached. Recently, Niantic used Google to allow users to use Pokemon Go. Using your Google account is fast and easy. It’s also very insecure. According to Google, Niantic is able to “see and modify nearly all information in your Google Account”. That’s creepy.

Also, pay attention when installing apps on Facebook. Many games and quizzes require access to your information in order for you to play. This is also how some Facebook malware links get spread.

You can read more about the Pokemon Go issue here.

4. Is that Ad Following You?

If you have ever shopped for something on Amazon and had that product seemingly follow you around the internet, you have experienced re-targeting. By using unique identifiers and cookies, websites can display specific ads to you after you leave their site in order to get you to come back.

Don’t want to be tracked? Lifehacker has a good article that details how to minimize your exposure.

5. Selling Your Personal Information

Free stuff. We all like it but there is always a cost. The cost is usually your personal information. One of the oldest and most annoying methods is junk mail and junk email. Giving up your email address for anything is just asking to get junk mail.

Personally, I submitted a request to a local car dealership about a car using a fake name and a real mailing address. Within a month, my fake identity received a very nice credit card offer from Capital One. Soon after, “John” began receiving all types of things in the mail.

Get Used to Creepy Marketing

We are in the information age. Information is power and the best companies know that the more they can gather, the more value they can extract. As the younger generation becomes more at ease with their lives being public on the internet, they will be less guarded about their personal information. Marketing is going to continue to get creepier.


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