Do you know what retargeting is? Avis does!

Until a short while ago, I had never heard of the word retargeting, and now i’m hearing it everytime i speak to the savviest of savvy marketers overseas.

But how many South African’s know what retargeting is? I don’t think many – according to google, only 46 people searched for the word throughout the whole of South Africa in the last 30 days.

The funny thing is that I wouldn’t have thought about writing a post about it, until something happened a few minutes ago. I was looking to book a car, so went to the avis website, and searched through the site for a few minutes. And that was it…

…Until about an hour later, when I wanted to check something on my blog, fired it up in firefox (yes, I’ve tried Chrome a couple of times, but always seem to keep going back to firefox), and the banner was for Avis.


I look at my blog a couple of times everyday, and in the last 3 years I’ve NEVER seen an advert for Avis appear on my blog! NEVER!

Yet, within an hour after visiting the Avis website, their banner was appearing on my blog.

So what is retargeting? Simple, if you visit a website, the owner of that website starts following you around the internet. No – not actually following you! But whatever website you visit after that, they’ve thrown some code onto your computer. (or something along those lines – if you know the specifics, feel free to share in the comments section)

Then everytime you go to another website which shows banners from an advertising network that uses retargeting, the ad network says:

ah, this person visited the avis website in the last couple of days, and avis is using our ad network, and we’re serving banners on this other website, and avis has hit that retargeting option, so lets show this person the avis banner again!

I think it’s pretty crazy! Great for marketers, but a little scary for the average person out there…

Retargeting = cookies 2.0

What will cookies 3.0 be?

Eric EdelsteinDo you know what retargeting is? Avis does!
Darryl says:

I know I always see ads about Grant Cardone and his sales training, I have bought two of his books and I’m still seeing his ads all over the net, even in Youtube, I do not mind, I see he must be pumping out the dollars to Google for advertising. However it pays off cause I am now a customer. As for Avis, I think you will see them more and you know who to use now when you book a car rental . 😉

James says:

AKA remarketing, easily setup in adwords. Specifically eerie when it happens on the display network. I get followed around by a number of my competitors and suppliers. Would be interested to see some stats related to this. I can imagine that their CTR drops off a cliff somewhere along the line, as impressions grow exponentionally…

Eric says:

good point Matalane – can anyone answer that?

exactly J. the query was “def in my head” tonight…

& to answer your 2nd question, i’ve been so busy building my 2 tech startup’s the last few years, i’ve been slack keeping up with the digital marketing progress – can u recommend a website that will give me a 30 second crashcourse on what is important over the last year?

Jenna says:

You are only discovering this now?
I think this speaks more about “blinkers to banners”, there are a lot of top SA sites who have been using re-targeting for ages.

I reckon you have been noticing the Avis banners tonight because they are now relevant to the “queries in your head”.


Matalane says:

Retargeting for marketers but an invasion of privacy for consumers. Say for example I visit a porn site, surely I don’t want that to be tracked. And with all marketing you need my consent before you capture and process my data?