Experts suggest that technology has matured and grown up. Older technologies, which had little impact on sales and profit, gave way to become more sophisticated to more accurately serve up ads directly related to consumer behavior based on Web browser data.
DoubleClick's lead architect Magnetic Founder Josh Shatkin-Margolis launched a retargeting platform earlier this week.
Marketers have begun to come back to retargeting platforms. Infiniti, Armani cosmetics and fragrances, InterContinental Hotels Group, DoubleTree, Samsung and several hundred companies have been quietly testing and providing feedback on Google's AdWords tool.
Google opened the remarketing trial in March 2009 as part of its "interest-based" adverting feature. Now, the Mountain View, Calif. search engine will make the tool available to all that use AdWords. And while Aitan Weinberg, product manager for the Google Content Network, insists on referencing it as an AdWords "remarketing" tool, Michael Menis, vice president of global interactive marketing at the InterContinental Hotels Group, makes no bones about calling it a "retargeting" tool. "We use retargeting," says Menis, who began using Google's tool in December.
The AdWords tool targets consumers based on behavior that Web browser cookies track and snippets of code embedded in Web pages read. It's all done across the Google Content Network, which comprises about one million sites running AdSense.
InterContinental Hotels, which drives online marketing and advertising based on metrics, uses the tool to increase revenue through the Web. The company has seen a "revenue uplift," which means higher bookings, Menis says. "Retargeting measurement is a little complicated because you have to imagine that there's a percent of people that once they leave your site will likely come back. So you need to measure the lift."
Menis relies on a variety or metrics to determine revenue lift, including measuring the click-to-book revenue. About 50% of InterContinental Hotels' marketing budget goes toward non-traditional marketing activities.
"Retargeting is a little like search," Menis says. "What excites me about retargeting is to do it well you need to think of it similar to a science, much like search."
Menis believes any marketer can take out their credit card and buy a keyword to get up and running within a few minutes. But he says that to develop expertise, marketers need to optimize all the levers influencing the revenue stream through search, a similar tactic in retargeting.
Search advertisers also can tap Google's remarketing tool to create an integrated campaign strategy. After driving traffic to a Web site with search ads, advertisers can retarget consumers by serving up custom ads throughout the Google Content Network.
Google's remarketing tool also lets advertisers develop strategies for YouTube. Beginning today, advertisers can remarket across the Google Content Network to consumers who have interacted with brand channels on YouTube or the YouTube home page ad. Samsung was one of the advertisers who used that feature to introduce the Behold 2 mobile phone, reaching more than 100,000 consumers.