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Don't Let These 4 Myths About Retargeting Limit Your Sales

By Jen Whelan, Senior Vice President Marketing at Criteo

Courtesy of Criteo

Retargeting is a practice that seems simple enough at first glance. Marketers often look at retargeting as a one-trick pony for re-engaging site visitors with ads across the web. Beyond that, it's limited in value. So the thinking goes.

In truth, retargeting today is more sophisticated than before. What was once a simple mechanism for reaching people who'd already been to your site is now an effective way to reach new audiences. And what was once a static display ad tactic now performs across multiple mediums and formats with personalized ads, from social to video advertising.

Here are some of the most common myths that limit how marketers use retargeting for their business.

The initial impression that ad retargeting meant following users around the web stems from early practices in digital marketing. Consumers browsing the web would notice web banners advertising products and travel destinations they had just browsed elsewhere online. Naturally, this caused suspicion.

Standardized practices, improved technology, and greater consumer awareness of digital advertising has made retargeting a more complementary experience than before. For example, advertisers now delay serving ads for recently browsed products long enough for shoppers to feel they're getting a reminder of something they've shopped for, and less like an aggressive ad.

While your initial pool might come from your website, retargeting can help you reach new audiences, too. Traditionally, retargeting has relied on tagging visitors on specific web pages to engage them elsewhere. Now, retargeting can use "lookalike" functionality to identify net new audiences who browse and shop like your most loyal customers and serve them personalized ads. In other words, retargeting takes what you know about your current customers and uses that data guide how you convert new customers. It's a self-sustaining pipeline of sales.

Though retargeting may have made a name for itself in display ads, its capabilities have evolved much further to encompass native social ads and video. This has major implications for the potential of retargeting, as purchase intent continues to grow on mobile. The power of retargeting in a mobile environment creates a near-infinite amount of opportunities to engage and convert potential customers. All it takes is some creativity on the strategy side of things.

What was once a fairly automated mechanism is evolving into a hybrid of human input and machine intelligence. Yes, retargeting has advanced to leverage powerful technology like AI to inform decisions, but that same technology is only as intuitive as the human element that's directing it. It takes a human to develop strategy for acquiring new customers, keeping them engaged on the right channels, and crafting enticing messages to earn their dollars. Specifically, testing ad creative is among the most common and important collaborations between humans and machines when it comes to retargeting.

The potential to beef up your digital marketing strategy through retargeting shouldn't be overlooked. With the right combination of creativity and strategy, implementing retargeting as a standard practice in your digital campaigns is as simple as finding the right tools. Interested in learning more myths and facts about retargeting? We set the record straight in our full guide, download now to learn more.


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