When Does Retargeting Become Stalking?
I’m a big fan of companies knowing general information about me so that I can see better ads as I browse the web. I’m going to see ads anyway, might as well be ones that are interesting.
I’m also fine with retargeting, the strategy of serving me ads based on a site I’ve been to but chose to leave without making a purchase. Offline stores would love to be able to do that.
However, let’s imagine a scenario where an offline store had a sales rep follow you out of the store and start showing up everywhere you went. Starbucks, the grocery store, the driving range, church — you name it, there he was. Always.
It wouldn’t take long for you to get pretty freaked out.
Well that’s what happens when you turn your retargeting up to 11 like Liquid Web has. For any site running AdSense ads, they magically turn into Liquid Web ads when I view them — even on my own sites. Over the past month or two, it has gone from interesting to creepy to very annoying. In just one week, here are the various sizes of Liquid Web ads I’ve seen:
Now I’ve probably been Liquid Web’s biggest fan over the past few years, but this is really annoying.
Be very careful if you ever choose to use retargeting. Not only could you fail to make the sale, but you could also drive the customer away forever.