It’s happened to most of us: we do a search on Amazon for a book about how lemurs inspired the latest best-selling perfume and then decide that it’s too frivolous of a purchase, so we don’t buy it. But, all of a sudden, we’ve got ads for the book popping up any time we’re online.
Okay, so maybe the whole lemur part isn’t true, but you get the point. You’ve definitively decided not to purchase something, yet you feel slightly harassed and partly annoyed by the ads for that product (or something too similar) that keep surfacing in front of you. It almost seems desperate doesn’t it? “Please, reconsider this fabulous book on lemurs, we only have 500,000 left in stock!” (Plus, if you bought the book, you'd know that this is a photo of meerkats, not lemurs).
Do you ever wonder how many people actually act on those ads?
We run into this every day, this effort to hold onto a declining revenue model. The thing is, there’s a sound idea behind it: targeted ads (and other targeted content). But, these responses to our online behavior aren’t targeted enough. They’ve likely gotten one part of the puzzle, but not the rest, or even a few more of the pieces.
It’s important to keep this in mind when we think about targeting. We are seeing numbers that show which tactics work and focusing on those tactics can really help us to avoid coming across as a desperate, stalker type. We’d rather be of service and convey that to our audience and potential customers.
But the instance described above is likely an attempt at something that can work, if executed properly: re-targeting.
Re-targeting is also called remarketing and it is basically the deliberate act of showing related ads to potential customers who have searched for or viewed a product, but not yet made a purchase. To be successful with re-targeting, you must have two critical components in place:
What kind of information makes (or doesn’t make) for successful re-targeting?
So, if you are considering a re-targeting campaign, keep these basic rules in mind. Also, make it easy for readers to respond—give them a clear call to action and take them to a specific product page. They might just buy a video about lemurs instead . . .