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Get the Facts: Facebook's Success with Retargeting

Published: October 4, 2013

Author: Ben Plomion

Retargeting SurveyRetargeting is no longer a new concept. The practice of serving display ads to users based on their online behavior has been on the rise for a while, and there are signs that it’s now entrenched. The real-time bidding (RTB) sector in the U.S., where the ads are purchased, is showing huge momentum for the second year in a row, with eMarketer forecasting 73% growth for the year. And if we needed any more proof that retargeting had arrived, Facebook provided it last year when it launched its own RTB exchange, FBX.
Chango’s recently released Retargeting Barometer reveals just how enthusiastic marketers are about retargeting, both on FBX and other exchanges. Comprised of answers given by 51 U.S. and Canadian marketers working for brands and agencies in a wide array of businesses, the survey offers plenty of evidence that advertising professionals now trust in retargeting to deliver strong results. Let’s take a quick look at a few highlights from the survey and then review three key lessons marketers can take away from the findings.

Survey Highlights:

-None of the respondents to the survey plan to spend less money on retargeting in the next six months.
-Nearly all respondents to the survey (99%) plan to either maintain or expand their Search Retargeting budgets in the next year.
-A majority of respondents (78%) rely on both view-through and click-through to measure the success of their retargeting campaigns.
– 60% of respondents plan to spend more on Facebook retargeting in the next six months.
-45% percent of respondents to last year’s survey had to form a new budget to fund their retargeting efforts. This year, only 17% percent of respondents needed to form a new budget.

3 Lessons for Marketers:

Beware of Marketing Mania:

The survey is certainly a strong sign that retargeting is on the rise, but we should also be wary of some of this increased spending. As Chango’s Dax Hamman has pointed out, more spending isn’t always smarter spending. A lot of brands today are bringing on multiple retargeting vendors. In addition to creating all sorts of headaches around data security, employing multiple retargeting vendors sometimes runs up the cost of a brand’s impressions, as the different vendors end up bidding against one another in ad exchanges.

Don’t Ignore Facebook:

One of the most intriguing aspects of the survey is that it provides a first look at how agencies and brands are thinking about FBX. Facebook is guarding the real numbers closely, but, according to the survey, marketers are very happy with the early results. That suggests that FBX, which offers both Site and Search Retargeting through its partner vendors, could be worth testing out. But it also suggests that the cost of keywords for Search Retargeting campaigns may soon go up. If you want to test FBX out before that happens, sooner is probably better than later.

The Metrics are Changing:

As readers who follow digital marketing closely will know, how to best measure the success of display campaign has been a contentious issue in recent years. Much of the venom was once directed at a metric known a view-through attribution, which looks at how many people visit an advertiser’s site after being exposed to a display ad. View-through was controversial when first introduced largely because spammers were throwing up fraudulent impression with as many ads as possible and then trying to take credit for successful view-throughs. In recent years, almost all of the fraud has been wiped out of the system, and the survey reveals that view-through is now making a major comeback.

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