Survey: 50% of marketers to increase retargeting spend

This article is part of the Digiday Partner Program. Ben Plomion is vp of marketing for Chango.

By now, you’ve heard a thing or two about retargeting, the process by which an advertisement is targeted to consumers based on their previous Internet actions. But what you might not know is that more and more marketers are shuffling budgets to make retargeting a core initiative.

In the Chango-Digiday Retargeting Barometer Q4 2013, over 50 percent of respondents said they plan to increase their budgets for retargeting over the next six months.

The Barometer asked nearly 300 media buyers in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. how they use retargeting in their marketing efforts. The media buyers came from a wide range of companies and industries, including media, retail, autos & parts, financial services, travel & leisure and others. And what these executives reveal, in no uncertain terms, is that retargeting is growing up fast.

Just two years ago, nearly half of respondents to a similar survey said that they needed a new budget to fund their retargeting campaigns. That number fell down to 17 percent in an early 2013 survey. Now that number is a mere 8 percent. Couple this with the fact that one in five marketers now has a dedicated budget for retargeting, and you suddenly get a picture of a sector that has come into its own.

The Barometer asked respondents whether “retargeting is a standard practice” in their business. The answers were far from ambiguous. Based on a rating scale with 5.0 meaning “strongly agree,” respondents rated the claim at 3.98.

And that wasn’t the only surprisingly strong number. Respondents were also asked to rate this claim: “Retargeting has multiple facets. It is a lot more than a way to drive consumers back to a website.” Using the same scale, the rating came in at 3.96. By contrast, the claim “retargeting is still very much in the experimental stage” was rated only at 2.52. And the number dropped down to 2.34 when the claim was “retargeting isn’t yet a standard practice, but on track to be one soon.”

None of this is to say that everything is perfect in retargeting land. Fast-growing sectors generally experience some growing pains; retargeting is no exception. Measurement and attribution, in particular, have been a challenge for retargeting. While click-through and view-throughs were sufficient for measuring most campaigns in the past, as retargeting is increasingly used for new objectives, new metrics will be needed to keep pace. Integration also remains a hurdle for some marketers. Some 28 percent of respondents to the survey pointed to the lack 
of integration with other marketing initiatives as a challenge in adopting retargeting.

Still, the bigger picture is clear enough. When Chango published its first Barometer in 2012, retargeting was still the new kid on the block. Less than two years later, the industry is seeing remarkable adoption, usage, excitement and ROI. Retargeting, it seems, is no longer the future. It’s the right now.

To download a copy of the latest barometer report, click here.

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