Today, Google announced that it is enabling Google AdWords advertisers to remarket to its users by letting them cookie their users, and then buy display ad inventory that match those user cookies on the Google Content Network. Read the announcement by Google Product Manager Aitan Weinberg on the AdWords blog.
Hello? Anyone there? This is BIG for display advertising! Publishers CPMs through AdSense are about to go up as advertisers bid higher for your audience because it's their audience, too. And for advertisers....
Dear 1 million+ advertisers on AdWords: You are now going to taste the low-hanging fruit of retargeting (or remarketing) as users who obviously like your content or products - intenders of all shades - are going to see your ads elsewhere and actually (potentially) be happy to see your ad because, after all, they just checked out your site. This is a bottom of the funnel opportunity limited to the scale of your own site.
Google confirms that the DoubleClick For Publishers (DFP) inventory on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange will also be available be for retargeting/remarketing (they're the same thing) purposes through Google AdWords which means not only will you get the Long Tail, you'll get the short one, too, as many of the world's biggest publishers currently put inventory on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
AdWords advertisers also will be allowed to frequency cap and block content types (even URLs) for retargeting.
- Chris Dixon tweets that this new feature is going to freak a lot of people out in addition to being effective. When he says "freaky" I assume he means that seeing an ad for a site you just visited will lead people to wonder why they're suddenly seeing ads from that site. Maybe. Remarketing has been done by big marketers for quite a while now. Still, freakiness is definitely possible especially when you have a retargeting campaign with uncapped frequency run by a less sophisticated marketer suddenly tracking your every move across inventory on the DoubleClick Ad Exchange (DFP and Google Content Network).
- This move by Google will raise the profile of behavioral targeting which will lead to advancing the conversation - hopefully beyond "behavioral is bad." Given the effectiveness of retargeting, for advertisers new to the feature, they will definitely be supportive of behavioral targeting. Perhaps they can join the charge to both protect consumers and enable cookie tracking through responsible self-regulation.
- This is great for Google GCN margins. Buyers of Google Content Network through the exchange are buying display impressions via GCN's blackbox publisher margins. More competition means higher prices and presumably better margin flexibility ($$$) for Google.
- This (all AdWords advertisers) is more competition for the DSPs or Certified Ad Networks currently buying through the DoubleClick Ad Exchange. This speaks to the importance of finding cost-effective audience beyond just the DoubleClick Ad Exchange.
- The need for effective attribution will become more acute as search marketing and display converge. Retargeting is a search-like, bottom of the funnel opportunity. How does a marketer know if Search or Display drove the conversion beyond the last click? Better attribution models will help.
By John Ebbert