Retargeting Continues to Gain Traction With Advertisers

What happened to all the hype around behavioural ad retargeting? Once heralded as the “next big thing” in display media, it’s seemingly lost momentum over the past several months, with people voicing their annoyance at being chased around the web by ads. The idea of re-targeting is simple. After a consumer leaves a company’s site, they see display ads for that company elsewhere on the net, hopefully luring them back. The technology allows you to re-engage users who have exhibited interest or even upsell existing customers.

Companies leading the charge on retargeting include Retargeter, a San Francisco-based company started founded by Arjun Arora, a staple in the local tech community. Their clients include customer service tools GetSatisfaction and Zendesk, with the latter seeing a .23% clickthrough rate on Retargeter ads within a one-month period. In August 2011 the company announced they’ve had nine straight quarters of revenue growth, and added 260 new clients in the first half of 2011.

Advertisers have long voiced the need for ongoing brand exposure to increase conversion rates, assist with cross-selling and drive revenue. Ad retargeting aims to do just that for several industries, whether B2C companies or media properties. And there are no shortage of companies trying to capitalize on the trend, whether it’s London-based Struq, MyThings, Turn, or Arizona-based Fetchback, which launched back in 2007 and helped kick off the trend.

Big corporations are already seeing the value of regargeting to consumers, not just as a tool they pay for but as in-house technology. Walmart acquired OneRiot back in September 2011, a service that allowed advertisers to reach targeted segments across the web and on mobile devices. It started off in the real-time search space but quickly refocused on becoming a mobile-social ad network.

While some consumers find it annoying, retargeting companies have no reason to lose their swagger. With more and more retargeting startups launching (and reporting skyrocketing client acquisition and revenues), and more businesses tapping into the technology to lure consumers back to their site, retargeting is an advertising tool that’s here to stay.

Erin Bury

Erin Bury

Erin has covered startups and technology for over three years in publications including Sprouter Weekly, The Globe and Mail, Business Insider, Mashable, and VentureBeat. She also writes a regular startup column for the Financial Post, and is a technology expert on CTV News Channel. Before BetaKit Erin worked as Director of Content & Communications at Sprouter from its launch in 2009 until its acquisition by Postmedia Network Inc. She was recently named one of Marketing Magazine's 30 Under 30 in 2012.