As we posted last week, Google have introduced remarketing in order to drive users back to a website that they have previously abandoned. From a user’s perspective, how will this work?
For many people, the demands on time are now so extensive that it can be all too easy to become distracted whilst surfing for a particular item because the phone has rung, an email has arrived, or a child needs your attention. In addition, whilst on average users have up to 10 tabs open at once, there are users who only ever have one tab open (e.g. because they are unaware of the potential of tab usage or their browser features) whilst others may have 30 or more tabs open at any one time, making it really easy to ‘lose’ what you were doing.
So, remarketing can give you the chance to find a site that you had previously visited but had a) forgotten the existence of in the clamour of daily life or b) lost/failed to bookmark.
There was an outrageous furore about Phorm and behavioural advertising, so how does Google’s remarketing differ from a user’s point of view? Well, this is personal data relating only to you and the sites you have previously visited rather than anonymised data being served by an ISP, regardless of whether you have expressed an interest in that particular site/product or not. However, whilst Google’s remarketing is different from Phorm, the ads will be shown across the entire content network and you may find ads for similar products to those you have expressed an interest in previously but from different advertisers.
There are times when being reminded about a product you were interested in can come in really handy. It may well be that you got part way through the purchase process and your browser or computer crashed, leaving you with that problem to deal with before getting back to the job in hand. It may be that the server you were trying to purchase from wasn’t functioning correctly, and much as you may have meant to return to complete the deal, it just slipped your mind.
The downside with remarketing from a user point of view may be that a specific advertiser targets you even when you have made a concrete decision not to buy from them. In this case, the appearance of their adverts may irk rather than delight you. You can switch off your participation in Google remarketing and ads through the Ads Preferences, but as yet you cannot block specific advertisers.
Once again, remarketing is an example of Google’s ability to garner incredible amounts of information about you as an Internet user, and for some this may be yet another of the ‘one step too far’ privacy concerns about Google’s reach. However, for others, being targeted with adverts that are definitely of interest to you rather than a whole host of items that are not may help to make Internet Marketing on the Net more relevant when searching for certain items.
Many Internet users are unaware of how online advertising operates, and will be unaware of the use of this technology by advertisers anyway. But for those who wish to grab a bargain, watching which adverts appear that target their interests could prove lucrative, especially as a canny advertiser will ensure that past customers get great deals.