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Infographic showing the steps many consumers take to research products online, vis-a-vis digital retargeting.

What Is "Digital Retargeting"?

A Definition & How It Helps Your Business

By now, you’ve seen them. Ads that appear based on websites you’ve visited, searches you’ve conducted and even content you’ve read online. It seems almost uncanny, with the thought springing to mind, “Wait - how did they know that I...?” What is happening here is that you, like endless millions of other Internet users, are being “Re-Targeted” based on these online activities.

Digital retargeting is a typically effective way to deliver advertising based on data. What this means is that ads are not delivered into some wide net of people that may be "hit or miss" regarding their interests; instead, ads are displayed to people who, somewhere on the Internet, have expressed interest in your products and services.

In addition to online content, retargeting can be based on physical locations that potential customers visit right in your community. This leads right into local sales, since many consumers may research online but choose to buy at a local source.

As a local business owner, you may have wondered if retargeting would help you gain more customers. Let’s look at some of the compelling facts.

What Statistics Say

A consumer researching products online but who will likely buy locally.#1 — 86% of shoppers research online but buy offline. By the time a customer comes through your front door, they are more educated than ever. Retargeting identifies those users who are doing online research for a product or services and then shows them relevant ads as they surf the web, thus influencing their offline purchases. No other digital media has such eloquent timing: User does research online; user sees display ad related to research; user buys product or service from this advertiser offline. It’s a basic and straightforward equation.

#2 — 75% of users say they have noticed being retargeted. This is because a part of your brain called the reticular activating system is being triggered by these targeted ads. The reticular activating system is the part of your brain that pays attention to the world around you when you’re not. Its job is to alert you to information that is relevant.

Here’s an example of your RAS in action. Have you ever been at a restaurant, waiting for your table, and there are people all around you having conversations? You could hear them if you wanted to listen in, but you likely don’t - you tune out their conversations. It all just becomes this white noise. That is until you hear someone say your name. Then your ears perk up - that’s your RAS in action.

Remember when you bought your new car and suddenly realized that everyone seemed to also have that same car? Why didn’t you notice all those Nissan Muranos before? The same reason you didn’t notice the hundreds of display ads encountered while you were online – they were likely not relevant to you. But when an ad is relevant to you, you are likely to notice. So if you haven’t taken advantage of retargeted display advertising because “No one notices those ads anyway,” you might want to reconsider. When an ad is relevant, more than 75% of people will notice it - and all of them potential customers.

#3 — 7 out of 10 businesses use retargeting. You may be hesitant to invest in something that may seem relatively new to you and obviously technical. Of course, you want to put your dollars into marketing and advertising strategies that have a high likelihood of being effective. Granted, while no one can guarantee that any kind of advertising is going to work, seven out of ten business owners just like you are investing in retargeting. This is because it continues to prove itself as having a high chance of success, and to reach people most likely to become your customer. In fact, 90% of business owners surveyed said retargeting performs the same or better than search, email and other display campaigns.

More to Come

Digital retargeting has become a very reliable method to assure your business gets its message in front of customers. It's also paved the way for a number of new and innovative methods to extend the digital marketing and advertising universe. Like anything digital or related to the Internet, new exciting mechanisms are evolving all the time.

MVC has partnered with the leading digital marketing and advertising firm in the nation, and would be glad to discuss all the exciting potentials with you. Feel free to contact us at any time.


By Guest Author Chris Sharkey

Director of Digital Sales at Nexstar Media Group, Lubbock

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