Retargeting: New Internet Technology

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Have you ever purchased an ad for your brand or dealership on an internet website? Then you may be interested to know that, as lucrative as internet advertising might be, almost all of the $19.9 billion advertisers will spend this year on internet advertising will be wasted! According to Susanna Hamner’s report, “Cyberstalking Your Customers,” in a recent issue of Business 2.0, just 2% of the Web surfers exposed to those ads will actually click on them. More important, even fewer will make a purchase or become customers. Advertisers have simply accepted that a miniscule click-through rate is what to expect. But that could change.

Enter “Retargeting,” a new technology from a company named FetchBack (www.fetchback.com). Retargeting is a means of delivering your message to visitors after they’ve left your website, providing another chance to connect with visitors who could become customers.

Here’s how it works: Phoenix-based FetchBack, with patent-pending technology, maintains a network of informational websites on which it places banner ads. For example, Hobby-Lobby.com is a FetchBack client. Say you find yourself surfing onto the Hobby-Lobby website but, after a few seconds, you leave. Later in the day, while you’re elsewhere on the Web, an ad for Hobby-Lobby pops up offering you a special deal to revisit the website. You don’t. The next day, another ad for Hobby-Lobby appears with a better offer. That does it, you click!

FetchBack serves up ads on hundreds of thousands of sites, including social networking sites like MySpace and news content sites like ESPN.com. The offers can get very specific based on your browsing habits. In the Hobby-Lobby example, software cookies placed on Hobby-Lobby.com enabled FetchBack’s network ad servers to recognize when you as a visitor to one of its content sites have already clicked on Hobby-Lobby.com. Then, you’re served up a pertinent Hobby-Lobby ad while you’re still on the networked content site. Over a period of 30 days, from 1 to 5 retargeted ads might be carefully used, thus avoiding bombardment that could turn off people.

“We’re enabling companies to reconnect with a lost customer,” says Chad Little, CEO of FetchBack. “You’re much more likely to convert customers if you’re consistently in front of them.”

FetchBack isn’t the only company offering Retargeting, but it is currently the leader. Others in the field include DoubleClick, Right Media and Blue Lithium.

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