I don’t think it’s news to anyone that there is more readily-available audience data than ever before.
“From the dawn of civilization until 2003, humankind generated five exabytes of data. Now we produce five exabytes every two days… and the pace is accelerating.” – Eric Schmidt, Executive Chairman, Google
In fact, according to Rick Smolan and Jennifer Erwitt in the book, The Human Face of Big Data, the average person today processes more data in a single day than a person in the 1500s did in an entire lifetime. In the world of advertising, this data comes from many sources, including online browsing behavior and countless offline sources.
Recently, I renewed my auto policy with a nationally-recognized auto insurance provider. During this process, they informed me that that I would be eligible for a significant discount if I were willing to place a small device on my car that measured my driving habits. The details would then be viewable on a secure website that published analytics comparing my driving patterns to other drivers in their insurance network.