This is the summary of an article by Miguel Helft and Tanzina Vega. Here’s the link to the original behavioral targeting article: Retargeting Ads Follow Surfers to Other Sites.
If you remotely show interest in buying a certain product that appears in a website, but decide not to for now, that product can follow you around as ads that appear in other websites. If you don’t know anything about behavioral targeting, it will probably creep you out. While more people are now more familiar with targeted ads, the thing is, these ads are becoming even more targeted and suited to meet individualized needs and highly specified products they have seen online. This technique is known as personalized remarketing or retargeting.
Companies that are now using or are planning to use this advertising technique include Microsoft, Google, Nordstrom, eBags.com, Diapers.com, and Discovery Channel store. According to Aaron Magness of Zappos, there is an overwhelmingly positive response to this technique. But not everyone is happy. For some online users, they feel that they are being stalked; that their civil liberties and privacies are being invaded.
Retargeting utilizes cookies. A person that visits a website and looks at a certain product, a cookie is placed in the browser of that person, which generates and advertisement for that particular product to be displayed in other websites visited. The person can click “Why am I seeing this?” a message inside the banner ads he or she is seeing, which explains how these ads are generated. Users can also opt out.
General Impression of Remarketing
Surveys show that generally, people don’t like retargeting or remarketing, despite the fact that some of these haters understand the technology perfectly. Still, remarketing is tried out by such huge companies as Google, forming AdWords.
Compared to behavioral targeting, remarketing is quite similar, but more specific. Behavioral targeting has been subject too debate. In fact, some advertising executives think that highly personalized remarketing may be too much. To them, retargeting is acceptable as long as it is done in a subtle fashion.