Are We Entering the Era of Millisecond Marketing?

Nowadays, it’s a scene you’ll pretty much see only in movies: Stock traders in brightly colored jackets frantically shouting and flashing symbols on exchange floors. But this was how stocks were bought and sold for most of Wall Street’s history.

Then, in the 1990s, electronic exchanges entered the picture. In short order, powerful PCs were making trades in milliseconds, leaving even the fastest floor traders in the dust.

These days, high-frequency trades are powered by increasingly complex algorithms that analyze multiple markets, and then transact vast numbers of orders at blinding speeds. The decision to buy and sell is largely out of human hands. High-frequency trading is not without its critics, but the lucrative payoff has spurred a tech arms race among the industry’s largest players.

What does all of this mean for the world of marketing? Quite a lot, it turns out.

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