©IDG Communications, Inc. Photo contributed by Matthew Mikaelian.
Retargeting is not entirely new to the online ad world. DoubleClick has offered the capability for many years. Yet the old tactic of finding people who have visited your site has seen a resurgence thanks to recent ad-tech advances that make finding audiences in large numbers possible. That’s led to boom times. Take Criteo, for example. The retargeter, which brought in former Yahoo, AOL and Huffington Post exec Greg Coleman a year ago as its president, now has 600 employees up from 120 in 2010. It is thought by many poised for a public offering.
The tactic is gaining adherents from more than just e-commerce players, which have been the most aggressive users of the tactic. (Try leaving an item in your Zappos shopping cart sometime. The retailer will surely find you across the Web several times.) Even a consumer-package goods company like Kimberly-Clark relies on retargeting, claiming it is seeing stronger conversion rates among these consumers (those who are served these types of ads): 50-60 percent conversion rates.