Retargeting: The Thin Line Between Hyper-Effective & Hyper-Creepy

During the last year the amount of behavioral retargeting has exploded. In layman´s terms retargeting means:

1) You visit brand site for the reason X.
2) They attach cookie to you, which enables them to detect you when you are surfing on other sites.
3) The brand starts stalking you and populates majority of the sites you are visiting with their ads (as majority of sites sell at least part of their ad inventory through ad networks).
4) Retargeting has usually quite high ROI as it usually employs RTB (another media buzzword). Real-time bidding is explained in the video below:

How Real-Time Bidding (RTB) Works (in 30 Seconds) from Dr. SiteScout on Vimeo.

5) Eventually you break and buy something from the brand.
6) Or you are just super annoyed and block all the ads.

Don´t get me wrong. I think retargeting is a great asset in your digital toolbox like programmatic marketing in general. However, it is not the silver bullet that some vendors make it out to be. The hype around programmatic buying resembles little bit the over-excitement around SEO/SEM few years back. Too often retargeting is done too sloppily and you are harassed by irrelevant brand message because you almost accidentally happened to visit brand site. Visit is quite often too weak metric for retargeting especially if combined with a generic message.

Recently I visited these two retail websites (Dodocase, Mutewatch) and got served these retargeted ads:

Dodocase Retargeted AD

Mutewatch

Guess which one I clicked and also bought from?

Advertisements
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