So to get back to the initial questions, “Does LionShark offer remarketing ads?” The short answer is that we do not. The long answer is that we don’t for the following reasons:
When you do remarketing, your ads are placed anywhere that accepts ads after someone visits your website. Since you can’t know ahead of time what someone will search for or which websites they might visit after yours, you don’t know where your ads will appear. This means that your ads could be shown in conjunction with content that your company doesn’t want to associate with, like political, religious, or sexual topics. So while you can control what your text ads say and what your image ads look like, you can’t control what they’ll appear alongside.
Even if the content on a particular page where your ad is appearing isn’t something that your company disagrees with, the website may be crummy looking or dysfunctional, which can reflect poorly on your brand as well. Think of this as the equivalent of putting your company’s name on a billboard in a rough rundown area of town.
When it comes to search privacy individuals and businesses have varying beliefs about what should be off-limits and what’s fair game. Companies like Google have made it clear that with them anything flies but searchers continue to express a desire for privacy. Remarketing ads make it clear to web users that they don’t have any online privacy because their search and viewing history is clearly being used to market to them. This can create awkward, embarrassing, or frustrating situations on shared computers because remarketing ads can appear for anyone using that computer.
Imagine shopping for an engagement ring or looking into booking a getaway for a loved one online and then having him/her find out because ads won’t stop appearing for these things. You’d be pretty frustrated that ads ruined the surprise, wouldn’t you? (I actually had a time where this happened for me. I was searching for a tripod for my husband for Christmas and remarketing ads for camera tripods started following me. It was bad enough that he found out that I was getting him a tripod, but the ads actually featured the brand I had been researching and even the exact model I was considering. Needless to say that on Christmas morning he had a pretty good idea of what the long box under the tree was!) Or maybe you were searching for something to treat an embarrassing medical condition and now everyone in your home is seeing ads for hemorrhoids or erectile dysfunction, effectively blowing your cover.
The privacy infringement that’s inherent in utilizing remarketing ads is something that we want to stay away from with any efforts we undertake for our clients.
The Creep Factor
Some advertisers say that the allure of remarketing ads is that they make your company seem like it has a really wide web presence – portraying their company as a dominant player in the industry. However, while some online users may not understand how remarketing ads work and fall for this trick, many do understand that the ads are “following them” online. This can come off as slimy and make searchers leery of your company. Effective marketing is something that every business desires, but creeping out potential customers is a result that no one wants.
The Potential for Brand Damage
The cumulative effect of not being able to control your own branding, committing privacy infringement, and following users around creepily is a high potential for brand damage. Scaring, frustrating, and annoying potential customers is no way to win them over. While you might gain some additional sales by reminding skeptical or forgetful shoppers to come back and make the purchase they didn’t follow through with, the capability of turning people off with your remarketing ads can more than outweigh the sales benefit from remarketing ads in the long run. The irreversible brand damage that can result from showing ads too frequently or for too long can be a serious hit to any brand.
So basically, the reason we don’t offer remarketing ads is because the risk is too high that they can actually do more harm than good. However, if you’re interested in finding out more about the types of advertising and marketing that we do offer, contact us today!
Kate Pierce is the owner of LionShark Digital Marketing LLC, a West Michigan internet marketing company. Her areas of expertise include Paid Search, Search Engine Optimization, Social Media, Web Consulting for small businesses, Copywriting and Local Online Marketing. She lives in the Grand Rapids area with her husband and enjoys cooking, watching sports and spending time outdoors. Like a true digital marketing expert (i.e. geek), she loves talking about marketing theory and SEM trends… so don’t say you weren’t warned!