facebook retargetingRetargeting. It’s the industry’s new favourite buzzword and one of the straightest arrows in the online marketing quiver. Retargeting is direct, highly targeted, and incredibly effective. But, as in many other aspects of the Display advertising world, retargeting has its drawbacks, especially for brands with a highly sensitive image.

When retargeting, a brand has very little control over the websites upon which its ad will be placed. This can spell disaster for an ad with an image that works best when shown in certain company. An ad for a Christian dating site, for example, could show up on an atheist information site simply because of a related keyword.

It is exactly this kind of snafu potential that has kept many brands from taking advantage of the joys of retargeting — until now.

Facebook’s brand-new bouncing baby advertising technology is set to do great things for those brands with concerns about the placement of their ads. Because, with Facebook, you can retarget to customers right on Facebook, ensuring the integrity of your brand name.

Brands now have a safe place to retarget their customers. Facebook is safe, innocuous, and does not make statements or take positions. Your Facebook friends may do so, but the content that you have in your News Feed is something that only you control. What Facebook can control is the ads that you see, and now this can be done with even greater accuracy.

Retargeting’s secret weapon is its ability to market directly to customers that you know something about. While Facebook is wonderful for targeting people based on their interests, likes, location, etc., the retargeting option really wins is in its ability to use your own data to talk to them. You know something about them because they’ve been to your site. You know what they’ve looked at; you know if they’ve gotten to your shopping cart, but then failed to complete the transaction; you may even know some details about their age or location.

Armed with this information, a brand can now effectively retarget individuals in a safe place. For example, those people who abandoned their shopping carts? You can now offer them 15% off shipping on the items that they were looking at, and you can do it on a site where your brand is not in danger of being tarnished by a poor (and uncontrolled) association.

(Unless, of course, you don’t want your brand associated with cute kittens and pictures of what people are having for lunch.)

It seems as though Facebook realizes fully what it has done to enable retargeting for brands with sensitive images. Giving them the ability to try to recapture the interest of customers who have expressed an interest in their products will go a long way towards enabling both image-sensitive brands and Facebook’s interests.

– Marc Poirier, Acquisio

1 Comment

  1. Prachi Mishra October 10th, 2012

    I wanted to add that if you really wanted to make sure that your ad appears on specific pages (i.e. not next to ads in a photo album filled with drunk college kids), you could work with a DSP that has the ability to target by page type. Triggit is able to do that, and in addition to monitor performance by page type and optimize against the ads with transparent data. To learn more, reach us at fbexchange@triggit.com.

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Marc Poirier is co-founder and EVP of Business Development at Acquisio, a leading performance media platform for marketing agencies.