I have very strong opinions about retargeting, as regular readers will know! Marketers seem to be on a crazy high these days, obsessed with the idea that their path to success is to spend more on site retargeting and keep finding ways to increase their audience pool or boost frequency caps to obscene levels.
More spend is better? Garbage! Smarter spending is better.
Over the last two years, I have discussed why marketers should cut their site retargeting budget, how programmatic marketing executions can change retargeting forever and, in a recent iMedia article, why retargeting is fundamentally broken.
But, these are just my opinions; and so, the team at Chango refreshed the Retargeting Barometer, asking more than 50 marketers and agencies what they really think of retargeting today.
The first surprise for me was the rate at which marketers are moving from buying retargeting through their agency to buying it directly from vendors (58%).
About 7 years ago, I was running the European arm of a major ad server, and we were just beginning to see the same type of pattern. Our business was 80%+ agencies, but the incoming leads were nearly all brands — and now the majority of ad server accounts are held by the brands.
The reason? Marketers want control of their own data, and they also want consistency in these core programs, even if they part ways with their agency.
That’s troubling news for agencies, who are already struggling to find new ways to prove their value in this rapidly changing ecosystem. But, as I often help agencies to understand, all is not lost for them — many marketers still need the execution and creative services that agencies bring. If agencies begin to realize that clients want smarter buying, not “more” buying, there are other ways for them to win, too (as outlined in the iMedia article above).
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