How Do Targeted Ads Work? Is My Phone Listening In?

By Greg BryanOct 17, 2023


Why am I getting ads for this toothpaste? How could my devices possibly know I'm in the market for a new tube? Did they hear me mutter something about running low? Do they know I jotted it down on our grocery list?

Today on TeleGeography Explains the Internet, we're asking the big questions about mobile advertising. 

While TeleGeography has a good deal of mobile data, I must be honest. I have no idea how mobile advertising works and what the telecom-minded among us should know about it.

Luckily, Ross Flynn of the Mobile Ecosystem Forum is with us to explain, which is exactly what we do on this show.

Ross has a background in digital advertising, making him the ideal person to walk us through advertising formulas that pair ads with IPs, giving us all the eerie feeling that we're being watched. (Okay, in truth, the reality might be a little simpler than us all being surveilled 24/7.)

He walks us through programmatic advertising—not just what it is, but how the practice impacts the mobile market. And then we get to the fun stuff: how do these advertising practices actually impact the mobile market? Is mobile advertising evolving? Does it present unique opportunities? Is it all totally nefarious or am I just feeling conspiratorial after getting that curiously-timed toothpaste ad?

Listen to our conversation below to find out.

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From This Episode

Greg Bryan

Greg Bryan

Greg is Senior Manager, Enterprise Research at TeleGeography. He's spent the last decade and a half at TeleGeography developing many of our pricing products and reports about enterprise networks. He is a frequent speaker at conferences about corporate wide area networks and enterprise telecom services. He also hosts our podcast, TeleGeography Explains the Internet.

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