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Retargeting Content Ignored by 42% of Viewers

Every marketer knows that keeping a brand in front of potential customers is essential for building long term brand recognition and sales.  With this in mind many marketers are using a technique known as retargeting.  The strategy is to use cookies and other items to identify what ecommerce sites a user has visited in recent days or weeks.  The ad network then displays content from that same ecommerce site so that the user is reminded about it on a frequent basis.

If the user didn’t make a purchase when they were on the site, the hope is that they will be reminded about it and go back to make a purchase.  A recent poll of 500 people conducted by Adroit Digital, however, found that this might not be as effective as marketers would hope.

The poll found that 42% of people polled didn’t even notice the advertisements or targeted content which was displayed to them.  Another 11% noticed it, but had a negative reaction that they were being targeted in this fashion.  That’s over half of all people who were either not affected at all, or negatively affected.  Of those who did notice the retargeted ads, 59% of those felt neutral about them and didn’t feel at all compelled to click the ads to revisit the site.

While this is just one poll of a fairly small target group, it may be an indication that retargeting web content isn’t quite as effective as many marketers believe.  More information will have to be gathered to determine what, if any, long term benefits these brands have from keeping their name in front of those who have previously visited their site.

Even though retargeting web content and advertising doesn’t seem to be very effective, it is very popular.  It is used widely by Facebook ads, which recently introduced a feature called Custom Audiences, to help marketers connect their advertising directly to those users who have already visited their page in the past.  Twitter is also offering a retargeting option to advertisers on the micro blogging site.  Of course, Google’s AdWords platform has long been using this method to improve click through rates.

What about you?  Have you used retargeting in any of your advertising campaigns?  Did you find it was effective, or were you disappointed in the results?

Pesach Lattin
Pesach Lattin
Pesach "Pace" Lattin is one of the top experts in interactive advertising, affiliate marketing. Pesach Lattin is known for his dedication to ethics in marketing, and focus on compliance and fraud in the industry, and has written numerous articles for publications from MediaPost, ClickZ, ADOTAS and his own blogs.


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