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Retargeting Performance: Cutting through the Noise

Retargeting (also called Remarketing) will put up stellar numbers and blow the doors off of every other channel. It will become your advertising campaigns MVP (meaning both Most Valuable Player and also Minimum Viable Product). But, is it real…


This is the first in a series of articles discussing the viability of retargeting data as well as its appropriate place in advertising campaigns.


First off, what is retargeting?


Retargeting refers to the practice of showing ads to people who have already visited your website. These people can be identified using a browser cookie or other technology, and retargeting allows you to essentially ‘follow them around’ with ads reminding them to visit your site and make a purchase.


There are all sorts of fun ways retargeting can be customized. For example, do you want to target visitors of a specific page? Or one page but not the other? Or do you want to show people as special “come back” offer only visible to people who have previously been to the site but didn’t make a purchase? Retargeting can do that.


Because of this, retargeting reaches a highly engaged subset of consumers and produces stellar conversion numbers on paper.


Yes, but…


The problem with retargeting numbers is that retargeting will also inevitably reach consumers who were going to make a purchase on your website anyway.


Imagine a typical purchase funnel. A person might visit your site to browse your selection of products, take a day or two to think about the purchase, then visit your site again to make the purchase. In this scenario, you’ve wasted a few cents showing retargeting ads to a person who was going to make the purchase regardless.


Now, the cost of media isn’t a big deal. For many consumers, you won’t even reach a full penny in wasted spend. But the problem is that the retargeting campaign will count this person as a conversion from the retargeting ads – thus giving you a skewed view of your marketing performance and making retargeting look much better than the actual incremental consumers it’s driving.


Now imagine you’re running a restaurant where people are likely to make repeat purchases. If a person orders online from your restaurant once a week, the retargeting campaign showing them ads will take credit for all of those weekly purchases.


Yes but…


Maybe there were a few weeks when he or she wasn’t going to order from your restaurant but the retargeting ads actually did remind them to order again.


In conclusion


In conclusion, we’ve concluded nothing. Like I’d said, I’m planning to write a whole series of articles on this topic of parsing the increment from the noise with retargeting. I’m also hoping to include discussion of some experiments to measure actual effect.


Can’t wait that long? Well you’re in luck. You can contact Meyers Enterprises and have our media agency do a free evaluation of your current efforts. We can put our expert knowledge of retargeting to work for your bottom line.


Or if you’re based in Wichita or the surrounding area, you’re in luck. Our advertising agency is based in Wichita, Kansas and we can come-by to chat in person.

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