Targeting and retargeting were suddenly hot topics as of 2013, that means many companies made big bucks reaching audiences through giving customers the same product to look at over and over again through shopping behaviors, location and social data.
You might already be use to the fact that search advertising gives the advertiser the ability to reach the customer as soon as they type in their search query. However, now the advertisers have the means to deliver a perfectly relevant message to the customer as they browse the web.
Now with almost half of all sites traffic coming from social sites and searches, the Internet now has the ability to understand the intent of the browser instantly when they arrive at any given page and give them the exact content that is relevant to them.
On the surface, this seems like a good thing. I think many of us online marketers go to great lengths to make ad units that convert at the highest level possible. But over time I think people are building up more and more resistance to such ads. It is almost like people have a personal ad block built in their brain today, skimming directly over ad units. Ads are getting less and less effective in general browsing.
I remember when the 468x60 ad was the premier banner size, after a few years people began to just disregard that size, today that size is the last one I want to include on a site. Now this is happening with most sized ad units. Even if your ad unit is perfectly targeted to the right person at the exact right time it gets a far less of a response than just few short years ago? For every success there are now more failures.
Why is this happening? Well for starters there are ads everywhere. I cannot go to any website without seeing ads all over the place. The Internet is becoming one big ad with some content sprinkled in.
Looking back five years I remember when I did not have to watch five seconds of a commercial at the start of a YouTube video before clicking skip ad, and that is if you are lucky. Every few times you have to watch the whole ad. At the top of my Yahoo email the first message is not really a message, but an ad to look like a message. When I go to MSN I see the latest TV show banners advertising their new season.
All the websites I use are just covered from head to toe with advertising. Internet users have built up a no tolerance personal ad block that is expanding far and wide. I am sure everyone who was doing well a few years ago is doing less business today.
The future of advertising is uncertain; it changes over and over again as the net moves forward. Advertisers need to make new strides by creating engaging customer experiences that match what the customer wants in a form other than the standard ad block. I don’t know what is next, but intent targeting must make strides to increase engagement and conversations. When it is achieved, the Internet as just one big ad can hopefully be more relevant content for all its users and overall happier browsers.