My good friends at Velocity Partners recently ran an experiment using content retargeting to promote their business.
The concept is simple - firstly, present ads on other sites (all of which are signed up to a specific ad network) to people who have already visited your site. And secondly, on subsequent visits to those ad network-enrolled sites, change the content so you progress the visitor down your sales funnel.
Whilst I applaud Velocity's efforts to try new ways to reach their target audiences, it for me was also a great example of the good & bad of using retargeting in B2B.
So, the good:
- I think retargeting has more of a place in B2B than B2C, as considered purchases are a long haul and any opportunity to reinforce a brand over multiple touchpoints is worthwhile.
- I actually experienced the experiment and was retargeted by them & thought - hey that's Velocity!
However, the bad:
- I get really annoyed by B2B brands interjecting themselves into my consumer experience. Its bad enough pre-rolling car adverts, but I really don't want to sit through even 4 seconds of a middleware software ad when my kids are wanting to show me a Minecraft tutorial on YouTube.
- In Velocity's case, I experienced (1) but even worse - I'm already a customer! So I do not need more (intrusive) advertising thanks!
So a couple of things need to change to stop the current platforms being a bit of a blunt instrument:
- Ad networks need to provide more granularity in letting advertisers choose which sites their ads appear on.
- Retargeting needs to develop a behavioural dimension, which lets advertisers serve up ads not only on whether a consumer has previously visited their site (and nurture them thru a funnel) but also on other data such as purchase history, CRM profile or other digital behaviours.
Anyone else have thoughts on the matter?