The State of Retargeting

Programmatic technologies are slowly taking over the marketing world, promising new exciting opportunities for marketers and sky-high revenues for business owners. No wonder retargeting, the practical realization of programmatic advertising, is one of the hottest marketing trends of 2017. Big brands such as Amazon or Mazda are already enjoying the benefits, and retargeting is believed to be the latest innovation destined to change the future of the entire marketing industry. Is it really so? Let’s find out.

How Does Retargeting Work?

Retargeting is a technique that leverages the use of cookies in order to remember and analyze visitor behavior on your website (time spent on a page, products viewed, items added to the cart, etc.). Whenever someone visits your site, an anonymous cookie is placed in their browser. The system then allows you to follow your prospective customers around on the web, serving ads of the products they were originally interested in. Studies prove that only 4% of consumers are actually ready to make a purchase when they visit your website. Retargeting helps to reach the remaining 96%, urging to imagine how good they would look in those shoes and reminding them of the possibility to buy.

Among primary retargeting goals are increasing brand awareness, generating new leads, and growing social engagement. Since social media is where consumers spend most of their time now, it’s not a surprise that Facebook and Instagram are the most popular retargeting channels. Moreover, 54% of marketers are currently using programmatic technologies to retarget on mobile. Retargeting is indeed turning into a trend, with almost a half of marketers surveyed by Adroll planning on increasing their retargeting budgets in the coming year.

However, even though retargeting is clearly gaining traction, there are certain challenges that prevent marketers from taking the full advantage of it.

Digital UK reports that the biggest concern of marketers today is inability to measure ad viewability. How many people actually see your ads? Are they even running at all? Since retargeting providers charge marketers per ad impression and those impressions are not exactly easy to measure, many marketers are still unsure about whether to try dynamic advertising or not.

Secondly, as retargeting is currently being employed by the growing number of marketers, customers start to notice it. Even though most of them feel neutral at first, the more aggressive those ads become, the more negative attitudes people tend to express. The number of customers who felt positive towards retargeting declined from 30% to 20% recently (according to Digital UK), while the number of those who feel irritated grew from 15% to 19%.

What Does The Future Hold For Retargeting?

Well, despite all the challenges, dynamic advertising is not going to lose popularity anytime soon. What will change, however, is the way marketers approach it. It is clear that retargeting requires strategic thinking and wiliness to understand the customer better in order to become an effective marketing instrument.

For example, the ads will become more creative; they will not be simply showing the product, but also telling a story, explaining why this exact item is worth buying and how it can contribute to the overall well-being of the customer. Screenshots of products from website catalogs will be replaced by professional copywriting and impressive design.

Secondly, retargeting campaigns will be highly segmented. Marketers already realize the advantages of personalization: not all customers are alike and one and the same ad can have a different effect on different people. Segmenting visitors into groups helps to understand how to market your product better and which ads to serve.

So, here’s what the present and future of retargeting looks like. While not everything is perfect and there still are certain difficulties, with the right mindset marketers will be able to get the most out of this technique and soon retargeting will become a must for every brand.

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