Display advertising and remarketing are debates we have with our clients all the time. Some love it and some find it profusely annoying and think it cheapens their brand. But who is right? Do you find those ads following you about after you’ve looked at a product annoying? Or does it remind you and then tempt you to buy the item that you must once have been interested in buying?

I am looking into having the bathroom refitted in my house, and have been browsing freestanding baths online. I am now being followed by ads with beautiful pictures of these baths, that I am so tempted to go back and buy when the time is right. For me these particular ads are just a reminder of something that I hope to one day own, so I therefore don’t find them annoying – more of a tease, I guess, as I want one now!

Here’s an example of one of the ads I am seeing:

bath remarketing ad

But isn’t that the whole idea? I will probably, one day, go back to that site and buy that bath, and that is exactly what that advertiser wants – my business – at the end of the day. Also, I haven’t once clicked on one of the banners, just admired the pictures, so if the advertiser is using a CPC model then it’s not costing them anything to keep reminding me of what I really want – that roll top bath.

Obviously different products will have varying affects on the human psyche. If you have already purchased an item, then there’s nothing more annoying than seeing that product again, everywhere you turn. Remarketing is definitely something that needs to be thought about carefully and done correctly.

As an example, we ran remarketing ads for one of our luxury clients and the ads worked incredibly well. We ran the ads for almost a year (11 months), using just banner ads and the results were excellent in comparison to the search campaigns being run alongside them:

The remarketing campaign on the display network saw click costs 60% lower than the average of all the regular search campaigns (not including remarketing for search). As click costs were so much lower, the CPA was also lower – 83% lower to be exact, and the conversion rate was 132% higher for the remarketing campaign.

Granted, the brand that we were advertising was a luxury, high sale value product, something that a consumer would desire to own and wouldn’t make a snap decision about (much more so than me and the bath). So it is something that they are more likely to be tempted to come back and enquire about.

We are obviously not the only agency to see success with remarketing and reading Google’s (I know somewhat biased) post back from 2011 shows many other brands having success with it. See: http://adwords.blogspot.co.uk/2011/05/year-in-review-remarketing-delivers.html

We also found that the frequency and reach of the ads made a huge difference. Originally set to 5 times per day per campaign and later changed to 2 times per day per campaign, we saw the conversion stats dropped (this was due to wishes of the client – not our recommendation).

We have, however, tried remarketing with a lot of our other clients and whilst we have certainly found it successful, the stats are not as staggering as this one example. This could be for a variety of reasons, but I’d bet it may be because they are for a much smaller ticket price item, unlike the above.

But what do you think? We’d love to hear your success (or horror) stories. Please comment below if you have an opinion on the matter…