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Retargeting: New Internet Technology

Have you ever purchased an ad for your brand or dealership on an internet website? Then you may be interested to know that, as lucrative as internet advertising might be, almost all of the $19.9 billion advertisers will spend this year on internet advertising will be wasted! According to Susanna Hamner’s report, “Cyberstalking Your Customers,” in a recent issue of Business 2.0, just 2% of the Web surfers exposed to those ads will actually click on them. More important, even fewer will make a purchase or become customers. Advertisers have simply accepted that a miniscule click-through rate is what to expect. But that could change.

Enter “Retargeting,” a new technology from a company named FetchBack (www.fetchback.com). Retargeting is a means of delivering your message to visitors after they’ve left your website, providing another chance to connect with visitors who could become customers.

Here’s how it works: Phoenix-based FetchBack, with patent-pending technology, maintains a network of informational websites on which it places banner ads. For example, Hobby-Lobby.com is a FetchBack client. Say you find yourself surfing onto the Hobby-Lobby website but, after a few seconds, you leave. Later in the day, while you’re elsewhere on the Web, an ad for Hobby-Lobby pops up offering you a special deal to revisit the website. You don’t. The next day, another ad for Hobby-Lobby appears with a better offer. That does it, you click!

FetchBack serves up ads on hundreds of thousands of sites, including social networking sites like MySpace and news content sites like ESPN.com. The offers can get very specific based on your browsing habits. In the Hobby-Lobby example, software cookies placed on Hobby-Lobby.com enabled FetchBack’s network ad servers to recognize when you as a visitor to one of its content sites have already clicked on Hobby-Lobby.com. Then, you’re served up a pertinent Hobby-Lobby ad while you’re still on the networked content site. Over a period of 30 days, from 1 to 5 retargeted ads might be carefully used, thus avoiding bombardment that could turn off people.

“We’re enabling companies to reconnect with a lost customer,” says Chad Little, CEO of FetchBack. “You’re much more likely to convert customers if you’re consistently in front of them.”

FetchBack isn’t the only company offering Retargeting, but it is currently the leader. Others in the field include DoubleClick, Right Media and Blue Lithium.

Comments

3 comments on “Retargeting: New Internet Technology

  1. Pingback: Retargeting: My Experience — Laurent Rains

  2. Marc DePeel

    This software is spyware, and many anti-spyware programs are now eliminating them. The program causes problems with operating computers, slowing them down from start up and during operation. Many people get annoyed when they discover they have this loaded on the computer without their knowledge. Informed operators know when to not authorize downloads like this, if they are informed.

    I have a problem with this type of intrusiveness, and consider it a privacy problem. Do you remember pop-up windows? This does a similar thing. Do you really want to be part of an effort that will cause grief for your potential customer?

    I would think that a better way of marketing is to target to our potential customers, geograhically and interest wise. This would require work I know. It would mean developing databases, and maintaining them. But it could be done. You don’t know who came on your website to look for a prop to their 1976 runabout, and now you annoying them with pop-up ads everytime they log on. I would think that would turn the customer off.

    But then, what do I know?

  3. Ann Betts

    (Disclosure before you read – I work for FetchBack)

    Just came across this article and wanted to make a comment. Marc’s comment above has great points, however it is not accurate when it comes to how FetchBack is able to do retargeting. There is no spyware installed on a person’s computer when they are being retargeted (by FetchBack or most other Retargeting companies). Cookies are used (just like most other websites – most use cookies) and FetchBack and other companies have worked hard with organizations like NAI to ensure that customers can feel secure about their information being protected, as well as allowing customers to opt-out of such services if they do not wish to take part.

    I completely agree with Marc that pop-up windows and any other marketing push that could possibly create grief for customers should be avoided. Hopefully all service providers will adhere to the new privacy standards being put in place, and all customers can shop online without having to worry about their privacy being in jeopardy.

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