We’ve all been there: on our lunch hour we surreptitiously visit our favorite My Little Pony fan site. Then hours later we bring our laptop to a meeting and project our client’s corporate web site for all to see – and right there at the top is a banner ad for My Little Pony: The Movie. How did that site know about our secret fetish? How embarrassing! How creepy!
When a marketer identifies a user’s web behavior or search terms in order to subsequently serve relevant ads on other sites its an example of retargeting. The goal is to catch consumers before they’re ready to make a purchase and serve them ads relevant to their expressed preference in order to close the deal – even though we consumers may have already made our purchase, or perhaps our behavior didn’t mean we were shopping for anything after all. Either way, many people find retargeting creepy.
Author: Jason Bloomberg