The Trouble With Retargeting

Retargeting can be a tricky thing. Done just right, it brings great benefits to the advertiser. And a bit of an overdose can annoy the customer.

[Edit Notes: Retargeting can be a tricky thing. Done just right, it brings great benefits to the advertiser. And a bit of an overdose can annoy the customer. In this post, D S Charan takes a look at some of the do’s & don’ts.]

Retargeting also known as Remarketing is a form of Advertising that can help you reach the customers who had already shown interest in you recently. Only 2% of the web traffic converts for most of the websites in first visit, Retargeting helps you to reach the rest 98%.


Sounds great, right? It almost seems like a savior and the only way to increase the conversions but retargeting could be very annoying if you don’t do it right.

In order to understand the troubles of retargeting and to get it right, we must know how it works in the first place. Retargeting works in many ways but to understand the concept of retargeting let’s take ecommerce as an example.

If a customer visits a website and browses for A, B and C products, we can use retargeting to reach customer with a banner ad featuring the same products. If a customer adds a product to the virtual shopping cart and discards the purchase, the customer can be retargeted with a banner ad featuring the product. Actually, it works better if you retarget the customer with some discount and increase the discount as the frequency of the ad increases and yes, it’s possible with retargeting! If a customer books a resort in Goa, now, you can retarget him with bars in Goa as he must be probably on a vacation and is willing to have some good time!
Sound like a world of possibilities, isn’t it?

But it would be very annoying if not done right. Retargeting is very sensitive, Advertisers and Agencies must understand that they cannot make sales by annoying the customers.

retargeting meme

Let’s consider three scenarios to see how annoying retargeting could be.

1) Different outlets

It’s a very common practice for everyone to browse products from different sources. Let’s say a customer recently has browsed a product on your website, chances are that he must have checked your competitors too and he might have purchased it. It’s a very common practice in ecommerce in India and I see so many companies are targeting the same customer. worst, without any discounts. It’s just a waste of time and there is no point in doing so. Instead, use frequency capping (the number of times a user is exposed to an ad) according to the products and don’t just use frequency capping for the sake of it.

2) Gifts

It’s possible that customer has purchased some gift at this point there is no pint in showing relevant products yes, as of now there is no way to filter out these from retargeting but hey, there is Frequency Capping!

3) All over!

Don’t just annoy customers by being all over! Be sensitive when you are retargeting a customer provide value like discounts don’t just retarget with high frequency capping and annoy the customer.

Retargeting brings us so many opportunities. If used correctly, it could bring in great value to your company. Provide value to your customer when you retarget as they are potential leads and are more likely to convert and don’t just annoy. Remember, you cannot make sales by annoying your customers.

[About the Author: D S Charan is the CEO of 16Symbols, a Delhi based digital advertising agency.]

Image credits: milesweb, livememe

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