Retargeting Advertising – Breaking News Story

Apologies for the break in continuity of posting but my Mum is in hospital, so my business time is minimal at the moment. Everything possible is being done for her and my Dad.

Retargeting Advertising

offer-px-webConscious of the need for a quick post today, my eye was caught by a breaking news story about Retargeting Advertising. You've probably seen it – where you have visited a website of something you were interested in and then the same / similar advert “follows you round” for weeks at a time.

Someone not aware of retargeted adverts may just think this is coincidence – or an example of the phenomenon known as Reticular Activation that I first came across in the theory of goal setting. Basically, when something piques your interest you notice it everywhere, and the application in goal setting is described here.

While Reticular Activation is probably at work in many cases (if you are considering buying a blue car you'll probably start noticing many more blue cars) it's very likely in these days of sophisticated online advertising methods that you have innocently triggered some retargeting advertising, and you are ACTUALLY being followed round by the same company!

Spooky or Clever or Bad Marketing?

Spooky, I've attempted to explain above, by reference to the Reticular Activation system, so let's pursue the “clever” angle.

Here is a better description of how retargeted advertising works, and when you read the full post you will see some compelling reasons why you might think this is a clever tactic you would like to include in your marketing strategy.

With retargeting, a small piece of code is added to the landing page (or website) controlled by the marketer or publisher, which places a cookie in each visitor’s browser, adding them to an audience list. That audience can now be retargeted with a specific campaign aimed solely at them. Source

I was aware of retargeted advertising, and have actually tried it. But before you rush off to buy some retargeted adverts, you may like to read the article below which was the one that caught my eye today.

Seeing the same advert several times can irritate and exasperate its targeted audience, rather than endear them to the company and its product. Source

So the findings of the article above may lead you to conclude that advert retargeting could be bad marketing.

My Experience of Retargeting Advertising

As an online marketer I have purchased retargeted adverts to try and boost my own sales. Although I noticed no improvement whatsoever I have to confess it wasn't a long campaign as I'm not a fan of paid advertising.

As a consumer, I find retargeted advertising extremely irritating. I tend to make quick decisions – either yay or nay – so to be chased round by the same advert when I've already made up my mind is a pain, in my opinion.

Even worse was the occasion when I had already bought something and then saw a cheaper offer from the same company. I was tempted to cancel the original purchase and then take the offer. In all honesty I can't remember whether I did or not, but I know other people who have done so!

Your Experiences of Retargeted Adverts?

So – over to your for your comments please.

  • Do you think retargeting advertising is clever of irritating?
  • Have you noticed it happening to you – and did it encourage your purchase or not?
  • As a marketer is it a tactic you have used, and did it increase your sales?

I'll be interested to know what you think.


Joy Healey

I left it too late to plan for a financially secure retirement. Don't make my mistake. Start building an extra income with a part-time (or full-time) business online. Think you don't have time? Can't afford the start-up cost? Can't meet sales targets? Contact me for free advice (no obligation) on the best fit for your circumstances. Exciting retirement business opportunities here.

Carol Amato - October 25, 2014

Hi, Joy,

I don’t mind retargeting ads one bit, and just take it as it’s meant – to interest me in something I’ve already shown interest in. I’m going to be learning this, and will use it for lead generation, not sales.

I’ve decided to get AWeber Pro Tools because it has more capabilities and can serve as a help in the retargeting campaign.

I’m glad to see someone else knows about this, as many of the folks I know aren’t even familiar with it.

Glad you did a post on it. Thanks so much, and will be sharing with friends. 🙂

– Carol

    Joy Healey - October 27, 2014

    Hi Carol

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts. That’s a very good tip – to use them for lead generation rather than sales.

    Thanks also for sharing it. Appreciated.

    Enjoy your week, Joy

Jan Kearney - October 28, 2014

Re-targeted ads don’t bother me. I find myself watching them as a marketer.

I find Facebook retargeting particularly useful when setting ads up for my clients. They do work, but I’d watch the life-span of an ad. Certainly not set and forget, the same ad popping up time and time again can be annoying.

Yes, retargeting can be a tad creepy!

    Joy Healey - November 1, 2014

    Hi Jan

    Good point regarding the life-span. Maybe that’s been the problem with some of the ones I’ve seen.

    As for creepy – yes, before I understood what was happening! I’ve missed a trick (or treat) here…. I should have turned this into a spooky Halloween post. Dang – better luck next year 🙂

    Enjoy your weekend, Joy

Edward Thorpe - October 28, 2014

Hi Joy,

So sorry to hear about your Mom. Due to your absence, I knew something was up. All my best to your Mom and to your Dad.

Though I haven’t used it, I thing ‘retargeting advertising’ is clever and like to see advertisers taking advantage of it.
Edward Thorpe

    Joy Healey - October 29, 2014

    Hi Edward

    Thanks for your good wishes for my Mum. She was perkier today thank goodness.

    Yes, retargeted adverts are certainly clever – when I first realized what was happening I was amazed by it LOL.


Bilal Ahmad - October 30, 2014

I have actually tried retargeting several time on facebook for some of my facebook campaigns for teespring and it successfully helped me in getting a few more sales. But it was suppose to save me money but it was the other way around.

    Joy Healey - October 31, 2014

    Hi Bilal,

    Thanks for sharing your experience. So although you made some SALES with retargeted adverts, you didn’t make a profit. Hmmmm. That’s a shame – but I suppose you can look at it that you have added some “buyers” to your “list” – and it’s usually easier to make repeat sales to existing customers than to sell to people for the first time. So, longer term you may turn the initial loss into a profit if you keep sending them relevant offers.

    Hope so! Joy

Gurwinder Singh - November 1, 2014

Hello Joy,

So sorry to hear about your mother. I hope she get well soon. 🙂

Coming back to the topic, I’m a big fan of retargeting ads both as a marketer as well as a consumer.

It’s actually clever marketing strategy. Many times, I’ve seen people don’t tend to buy products on their first visit, however after showing them these retargeting ads, the conversion rates go much higher. Probably, people need some time to make decisions or they want some social proof.

Whatsover it is, it’s definitely something helpful.

And yeah, sometimes when you see same ad again and again, you tend to become irritated as well. What I personally like to do (on Facebook), is to click “x” icon near the ad and choose to hide the ad to get rid of it.

I hope you a wonderful weekend. 🙂

~ Gurwinder Singh Bhinder

    Joy Healey - November 2, 2014

    Hi Gurwinder,

    Thanks for your kind wishes for my Mum.

    I suppose my irritation of the retargeting ads is that I tend to make up my mind (for good or ill!!) very quickly. So by the next time I see it, I will have already decided one way or the other.

    Do you know, I never thought of just getting rid of the ad on Facebook LOL. Sometimes the simplest solutions are the ones we forget, so thanks for that.

    Have a great weekend. Joy

Emebu - November 2, 2014

Hi Joy,
It is well with your mom.
Thanks for this eye opening post,i think i have learned a lot even from others who commented on this post.

    Joy Healey - November 2, 2014

    Hi Emebu.

    Glad you liked it. I must confess I usually learn as much from the discussion that follows the posts as I do from researching them. That’s good too 🙂

    Have a great weekend. Joy

Comments are closed