There’s a good article by Christoper Weiss in Adotas about how an ad network’s targeting tactics are becoming the number one attribute companies look for when choosing a network–even more so than the network’s site inventory. In a poll, targeting was a close second behind inventory in 2007, but since then the stakes have been raised exponentially as targeting technology has become more acute and advertisers have become more aware of the value of sophisticated targeting.
This is why you’re seeing a lot of interest in Fetchback lately. Have you noticed lately that you will visit a site (an example for me is the page for Wynn hotel/casino) and ads for that site will come up on several other sites over the next weeks and months? These sites are all working with Fetchback, and their specialty is retargeting.
I didn’t book a room at Wynn when I checked out their site, but obviously, I showed some interest by checking their site. Since then, I’ve been barraged by Wynn ads on Yahoo, TechCrunch, YouTube, and some of Fetchback’s other partner sites. Undoubtedly now, Wynn is one of the first Las Vegas hotels that pops into my head. The idea is to “build affinity” over time.
The key here is that they are advertising for something you already showed interest in. It’s not just a shot in the dark.
Targeting can be a do-it-yourself kind of business too, especially when it comes to social networks. Suppose you are advertising Valentine’s day teddy bears. On Facebook, you can choose only to target men aged 21-45 who are in relationships. It can even go deeper than that: basically anything in Facebook’s user information area can be targeted. Theoretically, you could target no one but women aged 34 living in Los Angeles who are fans of Duffy.
Targeting is where it’s at, and as Weiss notes in his article, it’s a good idea to ask your ad network exactly how an ad got placed. If they don’t have a good reason for it, then it’s probably the case that their targeting technology is not where it should be.