We spend a lot of time here at RetargetingNews.com going over industry trends and company news. But it looks like a lot of folks are coming to us with questions about the basic concepts behind search retargeting.
We’ve talked about the basics of retargeting in the online advertising world before, but let’s take another look at it, for the benefit of those who are new to it.
Ever in search of the next big thing, companies seeking to market and distinguish themselves in the vast cyber-frontier have experimented with a variety of tactics over the years, from guerrilla-type shenanigans such as the always unwelcome (and universally despised) pop-up ads – intrusive and obnoxious, but easily controlled via a good pop-up blocker – to frequently large, mostly random, banner ads that scroll across the top or bottom of the web page. These, too, are annoying in a mild way, but easy to ignore.
And now to the very latest, the newest thing, the catchword called “retargeting.” But what is retargeting, and how does it work exactly? Let us take a look.
Statistically, 98 percent of visitors to a particular website leave without a “conversion”, that is, without having entered an email address, without having signed up for a mailing list or newsletter, and most importantly, without having made a purchase. The goal of any sort of advertising is to close the deal, to make that conversion.
The beauty of retargeting is that it takes place subtly, so smoothly, in fact, that the visitor is frequently unaware of the cyber-seduction that just took place. There is a reason retargeting is rather “officially” known as “behavioral” retargeting.
What retargeting does, in the simplest terms, is this: When a prospective consumer visits a website, say Healthwarehouse.com, typically a barrage of banner ads will bombard the visitor, ads generated randomly and automatically. Let us say, for example, the consumer is searching for diabetic supplies. He/she might encounter ads for Tums, Neutrogena, Dr Pepper Ten, or Turner Classic Movies – a lineup dictated purely by whomever has contracts to advertise on that particular site.
With retargeting, however, that consumer will be exposed to personally tailored ads and banners – ads for test strips, insulin needles, Metformin, blood glucose monitors, say – as opposed to a morass of meaningless, randomly-generated ads that are guaranteed to be ignored. And even though we know that the conversion rate is tiny, when the consumer returns to search for diabetic supplies, he/she will be targeted again – retargeted – with the meaningful ads that accompanied the last search.
Very smart, indeed. To paraphrase the chestnut “give them what they want and they will come”, the aim of retargeting is “SHOW them what they want and they will BUY.
It really does seems so simple.