Is ad retargeting broken? 77% of consumers say they see too many retargeted ads

Ad retargeting may not be working as well as previously thought according to a survey of 1,000 online consumers and 100 marketers by Nanigans.

77% of consumers said they were seeing too many retargeted ads from the same retailer highlighting a potential lack of control at the marketing end over managing their ad frequency. Additionally, 88% of customers said they noticed ads for products they had already purchased.

Although 10% of respondents agreed that retargeted ads are useful, 57% added that retargeted ads had no influence over their online purchase decisions.

Meanwhile, a third of consumers believe that the best way to improve retargeting from retailers would be an improved understanding of when customers are no longer interested in a product.

For marketers the story is a little different. However, 83% admit that some of the sales from retargeting campaigns would have occurred organically, but just 28% can actually prove it.

For 55% of eCommerce marketers measuring ad impact is a top digital challenge. However, 43% use return on ad spend (ROAS) as their core metric which can appear artificially high when customers make purchases they were going to make regardless of a campaign. Just 14% of respondents used six or more metrics together.

Additionally, 43% of them have not run any incrementality or lift testing on their digital ads and 61% are testing a quarter at most.

The study also found that top online retailers spent an average $16.7 million on retargeting in 2017 and 53% are planning to boost their expenditure in 2018. The increases in budgeting are being made although marketers are unable to prove the effectiveness of their retargeting campaigns.

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