When the technology became available for retailers to reach out to consumers who had visited or purchased from their site, it seemed like a surefire way to spur additional sales and product interest, and perhaps provide the kindling for a more substantial relationship. But now, businesses are skeptical of the practice of retargeting, according to a new survey from business news and how-to website The Manifest.
Among businesses that use online advertising, fewer than half (43 percent) invest in retargeting—many hesitate to invest because they believe consumers see this outreach as intrusive.
“Maybe businesses don’t want to appear too aggressive online to their consumers,” said Jeremy Greenberg, founder of web design and digital marketing agency 97 Switch, in a news release. “Businesses may worry that retargeting advertisements could bother customers.”
Retargeting, however, can help businesses target customers who are already familiar with and interested in their brand and are therefore more likely to convert.
Two-thirds of businesses use online advertising
Sixty-six percent of businesses invest in online advertising, the survey found. With more consumers using the internet to help with their purchasing decisions, online advertising is an essential tool for businesses to reach customers.
Businesses need to be where consumers are—and that’s online. “Online advertising is important because it’s where people spend their time,” Greenberg said. “If you want to have mindshare over people, you need to be where they are.”
Businesses invest in a variety of online advertising channels
Although most businesses avoid retargeting, they typically use a combination of other channels. They invest in social media (86 percent), display (80 percent), and paid search advertising (66 percent)—and using all three channels enables businesses to reach the widest consumer base possible.
“Social media and paid search allow you to reach users on the main platforms they use: Facebook, Instagram, Google, Bing, and Yahoo,” said Flynn Zaiger, CEO of Online Optimism, a digital marketing agency in New Orleans, in the release. “Display advertising lets you extend that reach and awareness across most other major web platforms. With all three, you can reach nearly all your likely customer population.”
Online advertising helps businesses increase sales and revenue
Any goal a business sets is with the intention that it will eventually lead to a sale. Businesses use online advertising to boost sales—nearly a quarter of businesses (24 percent) say increasing sales and revenue is their top goal for online advertising.
“Sales and revenue are at the heart of the business,” said Aylin Cook, head of content marketing at digital marketing agency Single Grain, in the release. “Without it, the lights wouldn’t remain on, and no one would get paid. Revenue is key to keeping a business alive.”
Overall, the survey indicates that most businesses view online advertising as an important part of in their overall digital marketing strategy.
The Manifest’s 2018 Online Advertising Survey included 501 digital marketers from U.S. companies with more than 100 employees.