Update: After posting this article, a friend from Facebook pointed out that the list of advertisers are companies provided personal info to match my Facebook info to run targeting campaigns, instead of Facebook giving away the contact info to these companies. However, I see companies I have never heard of and they are not in Australia from some quick Google searches. If that's the case, how these companies got my email address or some kind of identifier in the first place is truly worrying.
Facebook sells your data to advertisers to run marketing campaigns targeting you, that's no news. Finally, a company called Cambridge Analytica abused it enough to make the headlines last week. This article gives a good summary of what's going on: EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT FACEBOOK AND CAMBRIDGE ANALYTICA
I am wondering how many advertisers actually have my data over these years through Facebook. It turns out that my contact info was sold to 69 companies by Facebook. If you are wondering how many advertisers have your contact info, here is the way to find out in just few minutes.
You may already notice that these days, after you look at a product on a website, you start to see the product in ads everywhere. This is called remarketing. It is a very common marketing technique being used to sell a product that you are probably interested in, or even already purchased. To me, if you show me ads about a product I recently purchased, it is most likely that you are wasting money. Advertisers could suspend this kind of ads by setting up a negative audience group that are customers who already purchased, so the product won't show to the customers in any ads for a certain period of time (e.g. 30 days). However, it seems most advertisers don't bother to do it, especially retailer websites, I guess maybe the setup cost to suspend ads based on purchases is probably bigger than the money they could save. I also heard that saving advertising costs is not in the interest of marketing because that means the budget will be smaller next year. I am interested to know if anyone actually did any analysis or research on this.
Recently, I experience a pretty extreme case of poor ads experience that it's not only a waste of advertiser's money, it's also a waste of my time and it really frustrated me. I am interested in the Logitech K400 Plus keyboard, and Bing Lee was doing a promotion for $29. That is way lower than the normal retail price $49 ~ $59. So I went to Bing Lee website to try to buy it, but it was out of stock. In the next few days, I see the ads about this keyboard.