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BenPChangoOnly a few years ago, “retargeting” was the hot new practice in online advertising. Today, as Chango’s new Retargeting Barometer report makes clear, retargeting has entered the mainstream. Let’s take a quick look at this survey of marketers and agencies to see exactly what it revealed and why it should be of special interest to search marketers.

The Retargeting Barometer consists of responses from 51 U.S. and Canadian marketers working for brands and agencies in a diverse group of industries, including retail, financial services, travel, auto, CPG and B2B. One of the biggest takeaways was straightforward enough: retargeting has arrived, and it’s here to stay. Only a year ago, almost half of survey respondents had to form a new budget for retargeting. This year, budgeting was no longer an obstacle. Only 17% percent of respondents had to form a new retargeting budget.

Another big lesson from the survey was that the days of thinking of retargeting as Site Retargeting  — the practice of serving display impressions to people who have visited your site with the aim of bring them back — are long over.  The survey found that serving display ads to users based on their search terms, or Search Retargeting, has now emerged as a distinct niche within the retargeting world. Remarkably, 99% of survey respondents plan to either maintain or expand their Search Retargeting budgets in the next year.

And that’s not the only big news that search marketers can take away from the survey. Late last year, Search Retargeting took an important step forward when it was added to Facebook’s ad exchange, known as Facebook Exchange (FBX). This means that it’s now possible to serve users display ads on Facebook based on the terms they’ve searched on Google.

The big question, at this early stage, is how FBX is working for clients. According to our survey, it’s working incredibly well. Some 60% of respondents to the survey indicated they intend to spend more on FBX retargeting in the next six months.

Interestingly, the survey also found that just as new retargeting techniques have entered the mainstream, so too have new ways of measuring campaigns. Not long ago, view-through attribution, which measures a display campaign based on the number of site visitors exposed to a display impression, was out of favor among marketers—and for good reason.

When the measurement first emerged, a lot of scammers took credit for view-throughs based on fraudulent impressions. But now that the vast majority of scammers have been weeded out, view-through has once again emerged as a critical measurement tool for display campaigns. Some 78% of survey respondents indicated they use both view-through and click-through to measure the success of their retargeting campaigns.

Those who have been following the growth of retargeting might not be surprised that view-through is back in style or that FBX is off to a great start. But the survey did turn up some unexpected responses with respect to Search Retargeting. Since you’re only targeting users based on their search terms, Search Retargeting is, first and foremost, a tool for acquiring new customers. But when asked why they use Search Retargeting, 68% of respondents included “on-site engagement.”

In other words, if it’s now more clear than ever that retargeting has arrived, it’s also clear that we all still have a lot to learn about retargeting in the years ahead.

Ben Plomion is VP Marketing at Chango

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by Brandon Gutman
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Brandon is an expert connector and seasoned business development professional. As Principal of Brand Approved, he's led the advisory to become the bridge between brand marketers and best of breed service providers that are reshaping the industry.

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