Did you ever look online for a product you want to purchase, only to later see ads for that very product on other sites you visit? Whether it's Facebook, an online news site, or forum, you may be more aware of retargeted ads.
Simply put, retargeted ads are used to keep products you may be interested in purchasing in front of you while you browse online, even if you're not shopping at the moment. Before this was commonly known of, consumers would visit sites, see an ad for something they recently looked at purchasing, and thought, "Hmm. That's odd. I just looked at that online."
Research shows that consumers are paying attention to these ads more closely, and it may affect their purchasing decisions. Earlier this year, Toluna research showed that 58% of consumers noticed retargeted ads as they spend time online. This is an increase from past data, which leads advertisers to realize the value retargeted ads may have in their marketing efforts.
However, this is good and bad news. Good news in that it keeps the retailer and products in front of the consumer who may or may not have purchased the item; bad in that it is a reminder to consumers that companies can track their online activity, and this is a hot point for many, especially as privacy concerns abound when it comes to online activity and social media.
This same piece of research also showed that only 11% of respondents viewed the retargeted ads as negative, while the majority felt neutral about them. With a low number of respondents viewing retargeted ads as negative, I don't think advertisers have too much to worry about in this regard.
Retargeted ads can be useful to keep a company in front of consumers. With so many options and online resources available, consumers typically look at more than one site when making purchasing decisions; retargeted ads can help sway undecided consumers back to their company to make a purchase.
Is your company investing in retargeted ads? If so, here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Segment your customers: retargeting should be different for different customer groups; setting the right retargeting strategy for those shopping for household products might be different from those looking for clothing on your site. Targeting those who made a purchase might not be the way to go, since they already bought from you. Make sure you segment your consumer base just as you would for email marketing, or similar efforts.
2. Offer a promotion in your retargeting: offering a call to action, especially a promotion or coupon code, may be the push an undecided consumer needs to make a decision.
3. Don't wear out your welcome: limit retargeting and space out your contacts; you don't want to make consumers feel like "you're everywhere" and too pushy with your advertising. This could push them to your competitor. Make sure your timing is right with regard to the frequency at which they see your retargeted ads, as well as the time length between a visit to your site and the first ad they might see. It's a delicate balance, but one that needs to be evaluated closely so you can encourage consumers to make a purchase from you and not push them away.
While the jury is still out, my initial thought is that consumers will become numb to the retargeted ads as they gain traction in the online space. It's a useful tool in competitive industries, and one that may sway consumers who are undecided. As advertisers put more of their budget into this type of marketing, the space may become over saturated and not as effective as advertisers hope. However, at the current time, it seems that this is a way to gain a competitive edge when used effectively.
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