Cookie-based retargeting was an online advertising game-changer. It was the best ad tech invention of the past five years.
There's just one problem... it was also the worst ad tech invention of the past five years.
When done right, retargeting is powerful. It can boost brand awareness among even the most distracted audience. In an online world full of shiny internet objects (Buzzfeed we're looking at you...) it can help your business stand out.
But that's all in theory. In practice, "growth hackers" and the like completely abuse pixel retargeting. "Performance-based marketers" looking for a short cut to conversions focus only on numbers. If I serve X amount of impressions and my conversion rate is 0.5%, then I need 5 million impressions to hit my goal.
And forget frequency caps. You and everybody else you know will see that ad - everywhere - about 50 times a day. Cue the face-palm.
Don't Be Creepy
Who's banner ad is currently stalking you around the Internet? We're sure you could name a few. All because you visited their site that one time.
Or maybe you did some online research, bought a product and loved it. Awesome! But two days later you're on a news site and BOOM - there's the banner ad for that exact product again!
Hello!? I'm already a loyal customer. Now you're mad and far less likely to tweet about your shiny new doodad.
And the more they show you that ad week after week, the more you regret buying from that brand at all. They're paying to annoy you. They've turned a new, enthusiastic customer into a bitter, missed opportunity.
Unfortunately - this is the reality of pixel retargeting.
With Great Power...
Any Spiderman fans out there?
You'll recognize the saying: "With great power, comes great responsibility."
We implore you, internet marketers. Take this to heart: Uncle Ben's death was a lesson. What tragedy (ubiquitous AdBlock? mass exodus of social media?) has to happen for the marketing community to heed the message?
Consumers aren't stupid. They're smart. They've found ways to tune out the noise, and the technology improves by the minute.
The Antidote to Terrible Retargeting
All this failure aside, there's a light at the end of the retargeting tunnel. It's called fan-based marketing and it's all about context.
We created Tradable Bits in 2010 because we knew there had to be a smarter way to market online. We wanted to be pioneers in the movement towards better retargeting. Our dream is coming true.
We're partnering with huge events companies to create segmented audiences of authentic fans. We're crafting personalized content that we know will resonate with each individual.
The fans are so excited by the stories we're sharing, that they're sharing our ads with their friends.
We call it fan-based marketing, and it's the future of advertising.
Don't believe us? Want to see the hard evidence?
We wrote a white paper all about this concept, with cool graphics, case studies and examples about how our clients are seeing the value in using technology to create better fan experiences. It even has shiny infographics for all you skimmers.
Start using technology to create better fan-brand experiences (not creepy ads).
We've built a Delorean and we're driving it at 88mph. Wanna come along for the ride?