Last year, I predicted the sudden and precipitous collapse of retargeting vendors like FetchBack, Retargeter and AdRoll. Given they’re all still around and doing well, it does seem like I was wrong. Fortunately, I never claimed this in print, so no one can make fun of me for the outrageously wrong prediction.
Oh wait… oops!
My reasoning was simple – Google launched a Retargeting solution 18 months ago. Of course, they don’t call it Retargeting; they call it Remarketing: because the Product Naming Committee needs to justify their paychecks, even at Google. It could be that they didn’t like the word ‘targeting’, preferring the more innocuous-sounding word ‘marketing’ – but the fact remains, Google has made the dark art of retargeting accessible to all advertisers – no intermediaries required.
What’s more, Google’s solution offers you all the flexibility you could ever need. Just follow their instructions, and you can show retargeting ads to the only 200 visitors that saw Product A, and did not see Product B, but did not put Product C into the shopping cart, and did not end up buy anything. In fact, you can even choose to show a different ad to the 20 of these 200 people if they happen to be visiting a sports blog, but a different one to the 50 that specifically went to a specific sports blog, say ESPN Sports Center blog.
I’m not even kidding!
Of course, it took our engineering team, who knows this sh** inside out, a couple of months to finally get the system to work. Now that we’ve figured it out, it works beautifully! But we don’t believe there are too many other people who could figure this one out, and make it work, without a lot of expert help.
And so, retargeting companies, you’ll survive. Until Google really decides it needs to simplify their UI, processes, documentation, and fix the many bugs in the system.
I wouldn’t hold my breath on that one.
Or, hold your breath at least until Vurve decides to come after you! (Kidding, kidding, we’re only helping small businesses right now!)