I still remember the first retargeting campaign that I created. It was late 2009, and Nebo was lucky enough to be enrolled in Google’s beta remarketing program.
While the concept of retargeting wasn’t new at that point, Google opened the doors and made it easier to jump in and create retargeting campaigns that reached a large audience regardless of budget.
Those first few retargeting campaigns I created were pure magic, considering I put minimal effort into them. This was not entirely out of laziness; back then, there just wasn’t much you COULD do. Essentially, I would set up two audiences, those that came to a site and converted and those that came to a site and didn’t convert, and then had one ad for each of those audiences. Then I watched the ROI on these campaigns hit up to 10x the return of the general display campaigns.
The whole thing was too good to be true—literally. As time passed and Google opened up their platform to everyone, the performance of these campaigns started to decline. The return was still better than any general display or search campaign, but the “crazy awesome” metrics dwindled to just “pretty awesome.”
There’s a famous scene in Office Space where Jennifer Aniston’s character, who works as a waitress at a campy T.G.I. Friday’s knock-off called Chotchkie’s, gets reprimanded by her boss for not wearing enough funny pins on her uniform (which they affectionately call “flair”). But the mandatory minimum is 15 pieces of flair, she protests, and sure enough she’s wearing 15 pieces. But the manager isn’t satisfied. “So, more flair?” she asks. He sighs, disappointed. “If you feel like the bare minimum is enough, then okay.”
Humanity is at its best when people work together with a shared sense of purpose and a shared goal. We've seen it over and over again: when diverse groups of people come together, they accomplish amazing things.
But it's important to provide room for the individual. Each of us has unique talents and ideas, and many of us strive to be the best at what we do. Without room for individual expression, we would accomplish nothing.
There is no bigger difference than the difference between being good and being great. It’s easy to go from being mediocre to being good, but going from good to great? That’s a huge jump.
It’s easy enough to be good at your job. A strong work ethic and dedication will get you pretty far in life; but to be great is something special.
I’ve been fortunate to meet many people who are great at their jobs. Luckier still, I get the chance to work with people every single day who are truly great digital marketers. I’ve often tried to put my finger on just what it is that makes these people great, and of course, it’s impossible. If greatness could be boiled down to a few characteristics and copied, everyone would be great, and we all know that is not the case. However, while there is always an undeniable “X Factor” that can’t be duplicated, great digital marketers do have many of the same traits in common.
While versions of retargeting have been around for many years, it seems like 2012 was the year that everyone jumped on the retargeting bandwagon. Clients are clamoring for it and marketers all know it’s an essential component of a digital strategy.
Put simply, retargeting allows you to re-target your audience with custom ads based on their past history on your site or, in some cases, on other sites. So those ads you see that constantly show you the 5 products you just viewed on a site? Those are retargeting ads.