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 re-targeted 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. From: RealBusiness.co.uk (article no longer online.)

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

My Experience of Re-targeting Advertising

As an online marketer I have purchased re-targeted 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 re-targeted 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 Re-targeted Adverts?

So – over to your for your comments please.

  • Do you think re-targeting 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.