Ads were served on TV or radio, in newspapers and magazines, or on billboards, and advertisers played to broad audiences.

In short, advertising today must strike a very personal chord with consumers—a simple principle that s very complicated to implement.

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The ability for the systems to talk to each other, the ability to understand that the iPhone I m speaking to you on now is connected to my computer and how, as an advertiser, you can make that linkage without necessarily having personally identifiable information to work with—these are all challenges to reaching a particular consumer with the right message at the right time, says Claire Alexander, Oracle s senior director of product marketing.

A year earlier, Oracle acquired Datalogix, which offers highly accurate data about consumer purchases in traditional stores, letting advertisers match that information with online behavioral profiles to increase the effectiveness of their digital campaigns.

When consumers feel that a company gets them, they re more likely to be open to what that company is saying—and the advertising that company is serving.

Going back to the diaper example, if a man has taken on the role of primary caregiver and is doing the bulk of the buying for the couple s baby, he s more likely to respond to ads that acknowledge his role rather than to ads that assume all primary caregivers are women.

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