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Retargeting: Strategy for Success

| September 10, 2014

Have you ever searched online for a product, and then noticed that same product started showing up in the form of ads in all your subsequent searches?

Then, about a week later, that same product is teasing you again as you search with an offer you can’t refuse. Then five shipping days later, said product shows up at your doorstep.

It’s all because of a clever method of advertising called retargeting.

Advertising in the Age of the Internet

Behavioral retargeting, or simply “retargeting,” is a form of online advertising that’s based more on strategy than mass view-count. Using info picked up by cookies around the web, retargeting tracks consumers who have specifically searched for your product and then subtly begins placing ads for that product on future pages they visit.

Normally, advertising strategies only go as far as posting your ads on content-specific pages, hoping that a portion of those floaters who might be interested in your product possibly see it and make their way to your website. The problem with the “spray-and-pray” method is that only 2 percent of all online customers make a purchase during a first-time visit. Yes, I know, that’s a tiny number. The other 98 percent are still floating around out there doing whatever it is people do on the internet.

Retargeting, on the other hand, goes a step further by taking notes of what people like and then reminds them ever-so-subtly about it later on. It’s like that guy who always says, “Dude, you remember that thing we saw the other day? That was so cool…” It works its magic by simultaneously reminding busy consumers of an interesting product that had grabbed their interest while also planting the seeds of the idea that it’s still interesting and they still want it.

The Success of Retargeting

So how useful is retargeting? Pretty dern’, my friend. A study in 2010 found that retargeting has the highest lift of online marketing methods. The study observed the campaigns of multiple advertisers across different industries and took note of the effectiveness of each method of advertising.

Within four weeks of exposure, the campaigns implementing retargeting in their strategy saw a lift in trademark search of more than 1,000 percent. One-freaking-thousand percent. The study finds that, because of retargeting’s subtly smooth nature, it doesn’t have the farthest reach when working on its own, but dang, those numbers mean that it makes one heck of a wing man (it’s like The Fonz of the advertising world).

The National Geographic Channel decided to go with a cross-screen retargeting strategy to promote their show Life Below Zero. Their plan was to retarget viewers with ads of the show within 24 hours of seeing one of the show’s full-screen ads. The outcome was an amazing 50 percent higher ad recall rate and a 50 percent higher intent to tune-in.

Additionally, AEG Live, a major live-concert promotion company that advertises with USA TODAY NETWORK TENNESSEE, has already seen a lift in its own amount of site visits after starting an advertising campaign with us this August. By implementing a combination of other advertising methods along with retargeting, AEG Live has already seen a growth of thousands of site visits, and they only expect the numbers to continue to grow as they continue on into September.

Bringing it All Together, the Way a Team Should Be

The numbers don’t lie—retargeting is the player who carries the team while nobody really notices him. Any advertising campaign that wishes to achieve maximum effectiveness would be sure to prioritize retargeting in their roster of ad strategies. And hey, lucky you, it just-so-happens that you’re on the blog of an effective team of advertising wizards who can set your business up with the perfect combo of rich-media ads peppered with the sultry, smooth seduction of retargeting ads.


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