Re-targeting gives us a great tool to take someone who has qualified themselves as a lead and keep them warm while they are in the consideration process. But re-targeting requires a creative plan as well as a media plan. Case in point:
I am starting to think about getting a new car. I have an Infiniti that I love, but which is rear-wheel drive and not making me comfortable in this snowy winter. So I'm looking for AWD and, because I don't drive a lot of highway anymore, a hybrid. Because I love my car, I went to infiniti.com to see if they had a hybrid.
They didn't. But they do have an AWD and, out of curiosity and a bit of brand loyalty, I went through the configuration process. At the end, I realized that really hybrid is the way I want to go.
Now, though, pretty much wherever I go on that computer, I am served ads for the car I configured and abandoned. From adwords to display to tickers on youtube, it's all infiniti. Now, this is doing one job, which is to keep infiniti on my mind. But the ads they are serving me are all awareness ads. They are not treating me as someone who came and left without buying. They should be changing their message to me to address common causes for abandonment. One can imagine an ad that invites me to select my reason for abandoning and tailors a positive response right in the moment. It's not hard to do. But you have to think to do it. Awareness has a latency period, no doubt, and reminders aren't a bad thing. But addressing abandoners with different creative than newbies would be a better use of advertising dollars.