Ad Networks Ad Serving Targeting


Posted by Jeff Hirsch on October 11th, 2011 at 11:00 am

That’s frequency capping folks.  Get your minds out of the gutter.  Although, if we are being guttural, I have a topic to touch on.  It’s been only a week since I joined Underdog Media and I have inundated myself in the world of performance advertising and, more specifically, retargeting.

Retargeting is a hugely valuable tool for retailers. Here’s a simple scenario: A consumer comes to the site, thereby expressing interest in products and services in a manner by which there can be no confusion.  It’s a data point that is inarguable.  They do some research, perhaps make some shopping basket entries, and then don’t finish their business.  For whatever reason a transaction didn’t take place.

That’s where retargeting kicks in. By cookie-ing the consumer, you now can target them offsite and encourage them to complete their purchase.  With the advent of dynamic creative, ads can be tailored specifically to the exact products the consumer was looking at. These ads work at conversion rates comparable to search advertising. This technique must be in the quiver of every online retailer on the Internet.  By the way, since it is so successful, there are dozens of online media companies that feature this as a core offering. Underdog Media is one, as are Criteo, Dotomi and Fetchback.

Great. It works. Or does it? What I found though is a glitch in the system. Many of the companies offering retargeting don’t frequency cap the follow up ads. What that means is that when a consumer leaves a retailer site they have the potential of being inundated with ads following them virtually anywhere they go. The conundrum, in my opinion, is how to drive results and support the significant investment a company has made in establishing their brand. Reminding a consumer about a product’s features, making a special follow up price offer, even cross selling and upselling are all important techniques to embrace. If it’s not done in a respectful way, though, the retailer will drive the consumer away from their brand for good.

We have to make this both about the immediate transaction and about a brand relationship. We must start talking about lifetime value of a consumer, supporting the costs of driving consumers to the site in the first place, treating consumers with respect. There is a lot of conversation about privacy, and this fits right in. Respect is the core of the privacy conversation.

Let’s start talking about “polite retargeting“ folks, where we take advantage of the benefits of retargeting and do so in a way that works for all parties. Trust me, if retailers start to attribute their loss of brand value to uncapped retargeting, the results will not be good for anyone. Let’s use engaging advertising to do the job, do so with appropriate frequency capping and make this a practice that will continue to be part of every online retailers marketing programs. I’ll be asking retailers how many times they think they should reach out to the customer when they leave their store. I know that the answer will not be “infinity.”

One Response to “F’CAP RETARGETING”

  1. Samir says:

    Awesome write-up, Jeff. Inundation is the reason why ReTargeter (I work there) uses a default impression cap of 15-20 ads/user/month. This practice has proven to be successful to our customers, not just by avoiding audience distaste, but these campaigns perform just as well in terms of performance metrics.

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