More Marketers Now Dedicate Over Half Of Digital Budgets To Retargeting

Study shows marketers are investing more heavily in retargeting, saying it performs as well as search, email and other display.

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retargeting budget allocations, adroll survey

A new survey commissioned by AdRoll found that marketers dedicated more of their online budgets to retargeting in 2014.

The percentage of marketers that now spend over 50 percent of their digital ad budgets on retargeting doubled from 7 percent to 14 percent this year. That number is even higher in large companies; 24 percent of firms with over 1,000 employees say they spent at least half of their online ad budgets on retargeting.

Nearly three-quarters (71 percent) of marketers spend between 10 to 50 percent of their budgets on retargeting. That’s according to a new survey of 1,000 marketers working in a range of industries in the U.S. commissioned by retargeting platform, AdRoll. The study also looked at retargeting campaign data from more than AdRoll’s 11,000 advertisers and 3.7 billion monthly impressions in the first six months of 2014.

Over 90 percent of those surveyed said retargeting performs the same or better than search, email and other display campaigns.

Marketers said they use retargeting to achieve a broad set of goals including branding, social engagement, customer retention and driving sales. Asked how they measure success of their retargeting campaigns, B2C marketers ranked “total conversions” just ahead of “insights into customer behavior,” 57 percent and 56 percent, respectively. Those results were inversed, but scored just as closely by B2B marketers. High return on investment or ad spend ranked third on marketers’ list of success metrics.

retargeting success metrics

Social far outweighed other channels in generating marketers’ excitement about retargeting. Over half (54 percent) of marketers said social was the hottest topic in retargeting, followed by 20 percent of votes for mobile and cross-device and 11 percent for data-driven marketing. Search retargeting, email retargeting each received single-digit percentages of votes.

When it comes to mobile, 57 percent of B2B and 51 percent of B2C advertisers are retargeting on mobile devices. Nearly a third of marketers not running retargeting campaigns on mobile said they were holding out because they don’t have mobile sites; 17 percent said it was because their customers aren’t mobile. The largest percentage (39 percent), curiously, said it was because they don’t have an app.

Most marketers are applying attribution to their campaigns, with 45 percent saying they track attribution on most of their campaigns and 24 percent saying they use a multi-touch attribution model. Still, 15 percent say they track attribution but don’t know how to analyze the results effectively. Another 16 percent aren’t doing anything with attribution.

Where do marketers want to see retargeting capabilities expand? Amazon was far and away marketers’ top choice. Surprisingly, Amazon votes from B2B marketers outweighed those by B2C marketers, at 69 percent and 76 percent respectively. Instagram, Pinterest, EBay and LinkedIn scored closely, with messaging apps, Tumblr and dating platforms rounding out the bottom.

marketers want retargeting on Amazon

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About the author

Ginny Marvin
Ginny Marvin was formerly Third Door Media’s Editor-in-Chief, running the day-to-day editorial operations across all publications and overseeing paid media coverage. Ginny Marvin wrote about paid digital advertising and analytics news and trends for Search Engine Land, Marketing Land and MarTech Today. With more than 15 years of marketing experience, Ginny has held both in-house and agency management positions. She can be found on Twitter as @ginnymarvin.

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