The Fetch Blog

Curated reads and events for professionals

Cookie Monsters: How marketers will find and track you in a world without cookies — November 18, 2013

Cookie Monsters: How marketers will find and track you in a world without cookies

Users beware: the marketing monsters are still lurking under your browser’s bed.


As many advertisers become frighteningly more tech savvy and as their relentless pursuit to own the ‘battle for context’ continues, the reality is that no law or governance system will truly be able to hold marketers back from finding, learning about and effectively reaching you. As Rebecca Greenfield at The Atlantic Wire best puts it, “There is now a fine line between cool and creepy”.

Whatever ethical views you share and wherever you think the line should be drawn for online advertisers, it’s indisputable that some of the strategies and innovations that our marketing contemporaries are producing are nothing short of remarkable and somewhat genius.

Here are just a few new strategies currently employed to keep you awake at night:


Browsers, by their very nature are designed to send and receive information. Depending on where you are, what resolution you have, what plugins you’ve installed, the fonts you use and what timezone you’re in is a factor that leaves an identifiable mark – a sort of ‘fingerprint’ that can be traced back to the various touch points you’ve engaged at.

With smartphones and tablets unable to support third-party cookies, many of the larger brands are looking towards fingerprinting as a means to monitor and track how users engage with their products across multiple devices.

Whilst a still relatively unsophisticated practice, fingerprinting is becoming widely popular thanks to its potential longevity – unlike cookies, you can’t erase it.

Conversion pixels and Facebook PMDs

Earlier this year Facebook rolled out new conversion tracking capabilities to all advertising accounts through the form of ‘conversion pixels’, which are simply snippets of code inserted in header tags of offsite webpages such as checkouts, landing pages and forms.

‘So what? Google has had conversion tracking for years!’ one may say… well, the real magic happens when we apply conversion pixels in conjunction with a Facebook Preferred Marketing Developer (PMD) platform.

Kenshoo is one such example of a popular PMD platform that uses Facebook conversion pixels in interesting and innovative ways. Specialising in ‘closed loop targeting’, Kenshoo leverages both social media and search engine data to track a user’s journey across multiple platforms and mediums – from a customer’s first impression to a Google search and final conversion while optimising massive volumes of advertisements along the way.

With conversion pixels at the heart of it, marketers who use such platforms can actually identify which consumers clicked through from Facebook, visited certain landing page, left, conducted a Google search two days later, returned to a new landing page and purchased your product.

This means that marketers can not only track when and how you bought something, they can now track your intent far more effectively than before.

Social profiling

Customer relationship management can sometimes begin before a customer relationship starts. Believe it or not, people are already gathering information from you from across the web using the multiple publicly available APIs from around the web whether you’ve engaged with them before or not.  It only takes one sign from you – such as opting in with your email or phone number somewhere – to unlock all the secrets that surround your digital persona.

Facebook’s new features to target ‘Custom Audiences’ and create ‘Lookalike’ audiences began beta testing around March this year and so far has been a huge success for advertisers.

With custom audiences, brands can upload their existing email database to Facebook and serve targeted ads exclusively to their existing customers as well as identify if they’re actively engaged with them on social or not.

With Lookalike audiences, brands can upload a small list of their most lucrative customers to a secure, remote server and match them with Facebook’s 1.1 billion user database to help identify an entirely new list of potential customers that share common characteristics with their ideal audience.

These NSA like capabilities aren’t limited to big brands with deep pockets.

The Full Contact, for example is an online service that crowd-sources publicly available data sourced from social network APIs to serve up-to-date information about any prospect. Full Contact’s Person API, for example allows you to turn partial customer contacts (such as an email, twitter handle, Facebook id or phone number) into full contacts complete with up to date social profiles.

It’s all just the beginning

Despite new laws arising out of Europe and the United States around internet tracking, tech companies and large advertisers are already well ahead of what’s next. Our increasing interconnectedness, dependency on social profiles and growing digital media consumption will continue to drive key advertising innovations – and it isn’t slowing down.

About our contributor // Cameron Rambert is a Melbourne-based digital media and technology enthusiast with a background in startup commercialisation and digital strategy. Follow him @cameronrambert.

Image credit: Maichou

Thanks to September’s advertisers — October 4, 2013

Thanks to September’s advertisers


Another month has gone and we’d like to pause to say thanks to our partners who used The Fetch’s promoted options this month.

We love you guys! Please check them out. 🙂

Interested in advertising on The Fetch? Book our options in just a few clicks here. If you’d like more details or would simply like to chat about how we can assist you, please email

Image credit: Andrew Bannecker

Event Review: the future of advertising at Ignite Sydney — August 11, 2013

Event Review: the future of advertising at Ignite Sydney


What do you think the future of advertising will look like? Big data and geotargeting are already part of our present so what can be next?

Delphine Vuagnoux from The Fetch Sydney ambassador crew recently attended to the first Ignite Sydney [Marketing] event to listen to people talk about the future of advertising and brand management.

New to the Ignite format? It’s a fast-paced evening where community leaders, thinkers and curious minds shared their top insights with 20 slides in less than five minutes. Sharp and short presentations entertain and enlighten the audience.

Here are our five takeaways from the night:

1. Advertising (and marketing) starts with a good story: be it about your brand, your product or your service, no matter what, you have to make it noticeable. Storytelling as a concept is quite new but not so new explained Sarah Morton. The ingredients of storytelling (creating a hero that your audience can relate to) have always existed since the writing of the first fairy tales and myths. So re-read your classics and adapt them to our modern marketing.

2. Social media is a key part of  brand management. But unlike the celebs (Bieber, Kardashian and co) we cannot use sex, drugs and rock’n roll. Marie Sornin, from Twitter Australia, gave three words that lead to successful social brands: entertainment (funny and unusual work really well to make your content shareable); value (make it so great that people want to share it) and utility (make it easy and accessible).

“Make your audience’s life easy, and they will thank you for it.”

3. If you’re looking for a great example of content marketing, take a look at nightclubs and DJs. Their business model is based on selling drinks but people don’t come for the beer on sale but for the type of music that’s being played, the atmosphere and everything else but the drinks. As expressed by Jonathan Crossfield, “Night clubs have invented content marketing!”. As you’d do for your club, have some content to guide people from the dance floor to the bar and build a community around your content.

4. Ever wondered on how this awful ad campaign was allowed? Rob Pyne shared some wisdom about how to not make the wrong decisions. He identified four “villains”: when people use gut feel, like doing something because it feels just right; when people play devil’s advocate; when people solve the wrong problem and when people assume data is the end-answer…

“Look for best and worst case scenarios together, take the time to listen actively and make sure there is only one person to decide.”

5. Ashley Ringrose, the founder and tech director of Soap Creative, walked us through a future where big data and geotargeting will rule the world, something like Skynet in Terminator – or Skynet Mall in this new version. Our DNA will become our cookie, the quantified self will be the norm and marketers will be able to track it down so they can sell the perfect product according to our behaviours, tax returns and what makes us laugh.

To conclude, a special mention to Andrew Clarke, at The Monkeys, whose presentation about sponsorship was one of the most hilarious of the evening, even if it remains unclear whether or not it was a presentation sponsored by Evernote. Still, he was convincing enough about the value of sponsorship as being what brings brands and consumers together where they are most engaged.

To view or review the speakers of the night, check out Ignite Sydney on YouTube:


About our ambassador// Delphine Vuagnoux splits her time between being an advocate against racism at All Together Now and Medianet as a communications executive. Follow her @delphinevuagnou

Thanks To May’s Advertisers — June 5, 2013

Thanks To May’s Advertisers

Big thanks to last month’s advertisers:

Interested in advertising on The Fetch? Check out the options here. If you’d like more details or would simply like to chat about how we can assist you, please email

Video: Death to Bullshit — May 2, 2013

Video: Death to Bullshit

Brad Frost recently spoke at Creative Mornings in Pittsburgh.

What follows is an exploration into the sheer noise being produced in today’s world. We’re taking more photos, writing more books and producing more content in general than ever before. In a time when there is so much, how do you stand out? How do you avoid adding to the noise?

Enter solid expectations and “death to bullshit”. A must-watch ->

To find out what’s happening in your city subscribe to The Fetch weekly email digests now!

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