Imagine this scenario. You are looking for a new lamp for your office, and you find one on Amazon. It seems like it could work, but you haven’t decided yet. A week later, every site you look at online is still advertising that lamp. Which best describes how you feel?

  • I’m annoyed. If I wanted to buy it, I would have already.
  • Thanks for the reminder. I still haven’t decided, but I don’t want to forget about it.
  • What ads?

The fact is that you might even feel different at various times. For example, if you suppressed an impulse buy, you probably find retargeting annoying. If you are researching options for a long-term purchase decision, you might not mind getting reminders. Of course, with too many reminders you might stop paying any attention to ads.

Developing the Right Retargeting Campaigns

If someone has been searching every day for Burberry products, they probably don’t mind frequent retargeting. After all, they’ve been looking at the same products every day. If someone checks in on prices once a week, they might not appreciate daily retargeting as much, but would welcome one or two reminders per week.

Another way to use retargeting effectively is to advertise to consumers when something they were looking at goes on sale. Maybe the reason they left before finishing a purchase was because of the price. Retargeting a consumer with the new, lower price could be just what they wanted to see.

So it really comes down to how retargeting is done. Even customers who want to be retargeted might get annoyed if it is done too frequently or without reason (like a lower price or another incentive).

How to Avoid the Creep Factor

This is often a concern, but most consumers are okay with being reminded about an item they had reviewed. Again, timing is important. If you remind them of a watch that they were looking at six months ago, they could wonder about how far back you are going in their history. Depending on how big of a purchase the item is, perhaps you have only one or two days to work with. For major purchases (a car, for example), you should be able to retarget for several weeks or even months, especially if you are running a special promotion.