Yes I have to admit that I get excited when I see a retargeting ad in action. For one of our online advertising programs that is in market right now, we set up a retargeting campaign within Atlas to market to people that signed up to join our client, but haven't made a donation yet. So instead of running the same acquisition ads we run ads that basically say you joined the team now make a donation.
Some people that I work with think this isn't that big of deal because it well works and isn't that what it's supposed to do. Well of course it is supposed to work, but when you see it in action after setting up the campaign, I still get excited; it wasn't that long ago when I convinced BlueStreak to put retargeting into production.
I don't remember the exact time but I want to say it was the end of 2002 when then BlueStreak's head of technology Eric Picard met with me in our offices in Jersey City to go over his priorities for the coming year. I'm sure all of them were brilliant but I remember asking him for the ability to market to current customers differently from new or unknown customers. Eric put it on the potential development list but a few weeks later he informed me that it was moved down in priority due to lack of demand from other clients. Eric who is very brilliant agreed with me that it was a priority when I told him "trust me, when the other direct marketers figure out that you can market to people that have already bought your product they will all sign up for it. Right now the ones that don't get it just don't understand it right now."
Once it was available we immediately turned it on for our ad buy and saw immediate dividends. Not only did the CRM team realize that we can now do cross sell marketing on our ad buy with our existing online campaign, we removed these impressions and spend from our acquisition cost numbers which of course helped drive the CPA down. As I recall 10-15% of our acquisition media buys was made of existing customer impressions. New channel and lower acquisition CPA made us look like marketing geniuses.
A few years later we of course get to use the same technology through our ad server Atlas and for the most part remarketing is part of almost every major publisher and ad network. It still amazes me when I see it in action as I witnessed the other day.