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Hypertargeting, Limited Attention, and Privacy: Implications for Marketing and Campaigning

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  • Florian Hoffmann
  • Roman Inderst
  • Marco Ottaviani

Abstract

Using personal data collected on the internet, fi?rms and political campaigners are able to tailor their communication to the preferences and orientations of individual consumers and voters, a practice known as hypertargeting. This paper models hypertargeting as selective disclosure of information to an audience with limited attention. We characterize the private incentives and the welfare impact of hypertargeting depending on the wariness of the audience, on the intensity of competition, and on the feasibility of price discrimination. We show that policy intervention that bans the collection of personally identi?able data (for example, through stricter privacy laws requiring user consent) is bene?ficial when consumers are naive, competition is limited, and fi?rms are able to price discriminate. Otherwise, privacy regulation often back?fires. Keywords: Hypertargeting, selective disclosure, limited attention, consumer privacy regulation, personalized pricing, competition. JEL Classi?fication: D83 (Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief), M31 (Marketing), M38 (Government Policy and Regulation).

Suggested Citation

  • Florian Hoffmann & Roman Inderst & Marco Ottaviani, 2013. "Hypertargeting, Limited Attention, and Privacy: Implications for Marketing and Campaigning," Working Papers 479, IGIER (Innocenzo Gasparini Institute for Economic Research), Bocconi University.
  • Handle: RePEc:igi:igierp:479
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    Cited by:

    1. Anja Prummer, 2016. "Spatial Advertisement in Political Campaigns," Working Papers 805, Queen Mary University of London, School of Economics and Finance.
    2. Hunt Allcott & Richard L. Sweeney, 2017. "The Role of Sales Agents in Information Disclosure: Evidence from a Field Experiment," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 63(1), pages 21-39, January.
    3. Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2014. "Persuasive Puffery," Marketing Science, INFORMS, vol. 33(3), pages 382-400, May.
      • Archishman Chakraborty & Rick Harbaugh, 2012. "Persuasive Puffery," Working Papers 2012-05, Indiana University, Kelley School of Business, Department of Business Economics and Public Policy.
    4. Paul Heidhues & Botond Kőszegi, 2017. "Naïveté-Based Discrimination," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 132(2), pages 1019-1054.
    5. Dirk Bergemann & Alessandro Bonatti, 2015. "Selling Cookies," American Economic Journal: Microeconomics, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 259-294, August.
    6. Peter Seele & Claus Dierksmeier & Reto Hofstetter & Mario D. Schultz, 2021. "Mapping the Ethicality of Algorithmic Pricing: A Review of Dynamic and Personalized Pricing," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 170(4), pages 697-719, May.
    7. Prummer, Anja, 2020. "Micro-targeting and polarization," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 188(C).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    hypertargeting; selective disclosure; limited attention; consumer privacy regulation; personalized pricing; competition. jel classi?fication: d83 (search; learning; information and knowledge; communication; belief); m31 (marketing); m38 (government policy and regulation).;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness
    • M31 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Marketing
    • M38 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Marketing and Advertising - - - Government Policy and Regulation

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