Rethinking Display Retargeting

Targeted display ads have been a part of digital marketing since the days of dial-up. Along the same lines, retargeting has always been a great way to keep your product and business fresh in the consumers’ mind. However, just as the technology that these display ads appear on has evolved, so too should retargeting display ads. As the industry changes and evolves, it’s time for marketers to start rethinking display retargeting.

Debunking Display Retargeting

Display ads fall into the category of disruption marketing. If the word disruptions sound a bit negative, that’s because it is. Whether you’re checking your email on your lunch break, shopping for Christmas presents, or watching funny videos to unwind at the end of the day, nobody wants to be interrupted by a business that’s trying to sell you something.

While that’s understandable, industry standards still rely on expecting consumers to stop what they’re doing and engage with their ads. Not only is that unrealistic but the low engagement rate also results in a low Click Thru Rate (CTR).

That’s where retargeting comes in. While it’s one way to combat this low engagement, it’s not a very effective one. Retargeted display ads don’t fare much better than the original ones, because internet users typically react to them in one of the following ways:

  • Ignore them
  • Click or tap on them accidentally, then immediately close the tab
  • Respond to the ad, but leave the tab open until they’re ready to start shopping again, which may be so long that it’s considered a whole new session

Even if a consumer intentionally clicks on a retargeted ad, they very rarely intend to stop everything and make a purchase. That doesn’t mean that retargeted display ads aren’t effective, though. If we reevaluate the criteria for success, it becomes clear that retargeting can still be a successful strategy.

The Real Purpose of Retargeting

Consumers have never had more control over the buyer’s journey and the sales funnel than they do today. This provides them with a more personalized experience, while also leaving businesses with a unique challenge. Metrics like CTR, engagement, and sessions don’t reflect the actual buyer’s journey as they used to.

As a result, retargeting should no longer be thought of as something that drives action. Rather than leading the consumer down the sales funnel, retargeted display ads inspire recall and drive consideration. Instead of following a display ad and making a purchase right away, consumers are spending more time in the consideration phase.

In fact, with consumers working from home and spending more time on their devices, the average time to a sale has been climbing steadily for over two years. Having more time to consider their options often results in consumers cross-shopping for competitors and less brand or dealership loyalty.

To adapt to this, dealerships can get in front of consumer trends by quite literally getting in front of their eyes with retargeted ads. Even if they aren’t ready to make a purchase right now, retargeting consumers keeps your business in the back of their minds until they are.

This recall won’t show up in Google Analytics metrics, but it still led to a sale. The only difference is the change in philosophy.

Retargeting with USPs Across All Platforms

Since retargeting’s real benefit is in consumer recall, businesses and marketers should design display ads that highlight unique selling points (USPs). Highlighting what sets a dealership or vehicle apart from the rest of the competition can create a lasting impression for consumers.

Another thing that’s just as important as featuring USPs is where the retargeting takes place. With the ability to access the internet from literally anywhere, it’s important to retarget consumers on all their devices. That way, your ad is like a billboard that pops up everywhere the consumer goes, so you can be confident that they’ll see it.

When someone sees an ad for the second, third, or fourth time, it becomes further entranced in the consumer’s subconscious. Then, when they’re ready to sit down, do some shopping, and finally make a purchase, they’ll be more likely to search for your business.

Target Smarter with Stream & fullthrottle.ai

From changing the way we think about retargeting to incorporating USPs in display ads, it’s clear that these methods can still deliver results and lead to successful campaigns for businesses. Stream and fullthrottle.ai are equipped to focus on content that sets dealers apart and targets consumers again and again in the right places.