26 May 2024 10:16

Advertising & Marketing

Familiarity can breed contempt when it comes to ad retargeting

Repeated, or retargeted, advertising can annoy many consumers and ads for products seen after a consumer has finished researching a product can do more harm than good, according to new research from InSkin Media and RAPP Media.

Generally 2% of shoppers convert on the first visit to an online store. Retargeting brings back the other 98%. Retargeting works by keeping track of people who visit your site and displaying your retargeting ads to them as they visit other sites online.

How and when retargeting of advertising is used may dictate whether consumers are deterred from or motivated to make a purchase. The InSkin and RAPP Media report, ‘Familiarity, Frequency and Fine Lines’, which involved a survey of 1,600 people aged 20 – 60 in the UK, found that only 10% of consumers were more likely to make a purchase after repeatedly seeing the same ad online.

While more than half (53%) said that an ad held some interest for them on the initial viewing, it turns out that the more they see the same ad, the more annoying it becomes. Seeing the same ad 5 times generates feelings of “annoyance” and are deemed “intrusive”. When the same ad is seen 10 times or more, “anger” is the dominant emotion.

According to RAPP Media’s head of media strategy, “it’s a fine line to tread as brands potentially lose control through a perfect storm of increased automated buying and the spectre of consumer cookie deletion” adding that “marketers and planners are negligent if they don’t devote more careful planning around frequency caps and other contextual filters before letting the maths men hit the send button”.

However, it’s not just about how frequently an online ad is seen, but when it is seen. Retargeted advertising seen after a consumer has finished the research phase “could potentially do more harm than good”, says Phillips.

What the report did reveal, however, is the importance of ad placement. Ads seen multiple times are 40% more likely to be received positively when served on a website that matches the content of the ad such as an airline ad on a holiday page or an ad for cookware on a recipe website.

Although retargeting generates greater online sales by keeping your brand front and center and bringing “window shoppers” back when they’re ready to buy. Every time your customer sees your retargeting ads, your brand gains traction and more recognition. The high click-through rates and increased conversions that are typical with retargeting campaigns underscore the value of good branding and repeated exposure, but marketers need to beware of not disturbing the consumers.

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