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You can run, but you can’t hide – muahahaha!

It’s October. The season of tricks, treats and, apparently, ads that stalk.

Retargeting is a concept that’s been getting lots of attention as of late. But until I stumbled across this article in Fast Company, I’m not sure I really understood how exactly it worked. So, in the interest of being the most interesting (c’mon – work with me here) person at your upcoming Halloween party, read this succinct explanation of how retargeting works:

You interact with a company. Maybe it’s a local car dealership and you sign up to get on their e-newsletter. They send you some sort of confirmation email which you open. When you open, cookies are dropped. Later, you decide you want to find the best place to search for that perfect Halloween costume. As you inquire in the search engines, PPC ads continue to appear – “The best costume this Halloween is a new truck from ACME SMITH car dealership.” Congrats. You have a stalker!

But really, is it that bad? Are the ethics of the human race really being compromised? Is Big Brother really in control?

Absolutely not. It’s simply a big step in the direction of more efficient business. After all, when you search in Google, you do prefer results that are the most relevant to you, don’t you? Why would you want anything less with your ads? Personally, I think this is a great improvement to the way that display ads are currently displayed. The advertiser gets much more bang for his or her buck. And the consumer gets products that they’re already keen to.

Apparently, the experts also think retargeting is a good thing. As they’re predicting a surge in display ad marketing over the next five years thanks to this emerging marketing tactic.

Just some food for thought.



  • We are experiencing great success for clients with retargeting (Adroll and Retargeter.) Our data shows that it can decreases the cost per lead dramatically, in some instances it has been a part of a 50% decrease in CPL. It can make your PPC or traditional campaigns look a lot more successful for an extra 5-10% additional investment in the campaign.  

  • “After all, when you search in Google, you do prefer results that are the most relevant to you, don’t you? Why would you want anything less with your ads?”
    That cuts right to the heart of the benefits of retargeting/remarketing, in my opinion  (disclosure: I work for ReTargeter, a self-serve retargeting solution). Seeing ads for products/services/brands you’re already interested in is preferable to seeing random, irrelevant ads. Retargeting is the next logical step for marketers and advertisers who care about putting their ads in front of the right people at the right. 

  • Jon

    Agree with both. Very fascinating read. I’m glad I stumbled upon it.

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