Andriana Moskovska
Andriana Moskovska 17 February 2020

Reconsidering the Value of Retargeting in 2020: Should You Use It Or Lose It?

Retargeting (a.k.a. remarketing) has a unique value that can help you drive conversions. It does come with a few pitfalls, however, and you should be careful with the way you use it. Here, we will weigh the benefits of remarketing against the problems it entails and decide whether it’s worth your time and investment.

How many people that visit your website for the first time convert on the spot? The answer is very few - certainly far fewer than you would like.

Luckily, there are ways to pull them into the flock, so to speak. One such way is to leverage retargeting - advertising to people who have already visited your site or made a purchase from you.

Many find remarketing to be pretty effective and happily use it. But it isn’t exactly the norm - as many as 46% of marketing experts consider retargeting an underused strategy. It’s clear from that statistic that quite a lot of marketers find issues with retargeting, or at least don’t think of it as a high-priority tool.

So which of these two parties is right? Is retargeting a worthwhile effort in 2020? Let’s first examine what compels some to swear by it.

What Makes Retargeting Great?

The one perk that every marketer using retargeting will immediately point out is its potency in boosting conversions and ROI.

Now, there are tons of examples that attest to this fact, so listing all of them would be far from productive. That said, we can show you a few that boast some eye-catching numbers, which are more representative of remarketing as a whole than you would think.

1. Myfix Cycle - a Canadian bicycle retailer, used retargeting to salvage its ROI, having struggled for a while to break even. With a well-executed strategy, the company skyrocketed its ROI to a stunning 1,500%. - business that sells scale model ships, ran a two-month retargeting campaign on a daily budget of $1.85. What did it bring to the company? A ridiculously successful ROI of 2,475%.

Bebê Store - a baby goods retailer from Brazil, segmented its audience by average order cost and used Google’s dynamic remarketing and target CPA bidding for a wondrously worthwhile retargeting campaign. The business managed to rake in 89% more conversions over a two-month period.

In terms of sheer numbers, you can clearly see the appeal of retargeting. It’s basically a money machine under the right circumstances. But “under the right circumstances” is the key caveat here. And that leads us to what potentially makes retargeting troublesome if carried out without care.

What Makes Retargeting Suboptimal?

While users of retargeting will laud it because of its ability to drive conversion and skyrocket ROI, they often fail to address one of its most glaring issues, namely, what customers think of it.

InSkin Media conducted a survey to reveal exactly how people feel about being retargeted. The results it wound up with were a little concerning for advocates for this marketing technique.

The three main emotions that people have about being retargeted are annoyance, anger, and discomfort with having their privacy intruded. The intensity of these emotions varies from how many times you retarget someone, but here are the most important takeaways from the survey:

  • Over 30% of people who get retargeted ten times or more feel anger, though only around 10% do if they’re retargeted up to ten times.
  • About 25% of retargeted people feel annoyed, with the three-to-five-retargets category being well above 30%.
  • No matter how many times you remarket a person, around 20% of people agree that they find it intrusive when it happens to them.

These aren’t small numbers. This would indicate that there are serious issues with either how people are being retargeted or with the very concept of retargeting. So what makes people uncomfortable with this strategy? 

The following are the most likely culprits:

  • Invasion of privacy is a major problem in today’s data-centric society.
  • Pushing targets to buy something when they aren’t looking to do so might ignore the sales cycle (awareness - consideration - intent - purchase). 
  • Being pressed and followed around the internet can put people off of your brand. 

What To Make of Retargeting?

Given both the good and the bad that retargeting brings to the table, should you make use of it or not? As always, the answer isn’t straightforward. 

The most accurate conclusion would have to be that yes, you should use retargeting, but only if you know how to use it well. You have to find that perfect zone where you remind leads of your brand but don’t annoy or even scare them.

If that’s a risk you wouldn’t like to entertain, then you should consider other alternatives. However, if you manage to execute a retargeting strategy the right way, you’ll be reaping some serious benefits.

Ayomide Samuel
Ayomide Samuel


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