By adaptive - June 3rd, 2014

With traditional ad channels eroding thanks to the rise of mobile digital devices, social targeting is the new frontier for corporate marketers

For brands, capturing the attention of their next customer was a relatively straightforward exercise when only desktop PCs and their notebook cousins were the primary platform for commerce. The cookie reined supreme and delivered to marketers a channel that they could use for highly focused and targeted marketing.

With the advent of mobile digital devices the cookie suddenly became yesterday’s technology. Marketers are now looking for new ways to reach their customers who are increasingly interfacing with brands while on the move. The use of retargeting techniques has grown rapidly, as mobile digital devices have become ubiquitous across the consumer landscape. Indeed, according to the latest insights, one in five marketers now have a dedicated retargeting budget.

7 Types of Retargeting

What is becoming clear is that on mobile platforms retargeting needs an additional element to connect with consumers. That element is social media. A new report from Chango looks closely at retargeting and the use of paid social exchanges.

“It’s becoming more and more important because there are starting to be more ways to do paid social than there ever were before,” said Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen. “And now it’s becoming more of a consideration. I mean, just look at Facebook’s mobile numbers for evidence.”

Chango conclude in their latest report into retargeting trends: “Even among those who were not sure if social is a silver bullet, many believed they would play a key role moving forward. Retargeting on mobile is still a risky endeavour, as the technology lacks a proven way to identify and target users. Social targeting, respondents said, could be a way around that.

“Using social exchanges as a work around on mobile shows how fervently brand and agencies believe in retargeting as a tactic overall. Respondents to the April study said about 56% of brands and agencies rely on retargeting to acquire new customers, 42% use it build brand awareness and 42% to increase direct revenue.”

The key findings of the Chango study include:

  • 11% of brands and 7% of agencies use retargeting to acquire their competitors’ customers.
  • 63% of respondents take retargeting budgets from display advertising budgets; 49% of brands and 68% agencies are moving dollars from display into retargeting.
  • Facebook Exchange (FBX) still leads the Twitter Tailored Audiences in terms of money allocated by brands and agencies (67% of total respondents use FBX; 38% use Twitter Tailored Audiences).
  • For paid social and mobile retargeting, the size of the agency/brand investment effects expectations, and this is indirectly related to perceived success.
  • 41% of both brands and agencies believe that social exchanges are the key to mobile targeting success. For many of the 59% who said social exchanges aren’t the key to mobile success, it was the word “key” that was problematic.

What type of retargeting tactics in use

Social matters

For marketers considering how the landscape has changed for targets ads, social media has clearly redefined how marketing messages now reach their intended audiences.

With paid social marketing, Brian Decker, managing director of client and social action leadership at Mindshare says: “It can be used just like putting gasoline on the original fire in terms of that initial ignition. And it can really help push messages out and proliferate them. However, you’re seeing things like social commerce. You’re seeing some very real things that are happening, even things like FBX.”

Chango concludes: “Social targeting can be a big boon to mobile retargeting efforts. As social platforms lose organic reach, it may be necessary to develop a paid social marketing program. More and more people are spending their time consuming content on their mobile devices, and this will inadvertently boost mobile targeting. Having the ability to target consumers through social platforms like Facebook and Twitter’s Tailored Audience means that no matter the device a consumer is on, they can be targeted again and again with the right messages. There’s no fear of missing opportunities because of a cookieless mobile Web.”

What is clear is that ads are increasingly being optimised for mobile delivery. This isn’t surprising with the shift that has been seen by consumers to mobile platforms. The fact that retargeting budgets are being funded in part by a repurposing of display ad spend speaks volumes about how the targeted ad landscape is changing, and how social is driving this revolution.


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