Don Marti

Sun 18 Oct 2015 07:00:50 AM PDT

Update on users: they're still not morons

From a SiteScout blog post on retargeting:

Users who recognize your brand will now see your advertisements displayed across thousands of websites, creating the impression of a large-scale advertising campaign, but for a fraction of the budget.

That's unrealistic. Users have figured out retargeting, and it's already motivating them to block ads.

As David Ogilvy once wrote, The consumer is not a moron, she is your wife. If retargeting is something that you can explain in a blog post, users who see it every day already have it figured out.

Users still aren't morons.

Following a user around the Internet with an ad creates the impression of following a user around the Internet with an ad. And that's about it.

Too often, adtech overcomplicates the technical side, but oversimplifies the human side. People who participate in markets are good applied behavioral economists, because they have to be. That goes for buyers as well as sellers.

The adtech scene assumes that we're in some kind of controlled experiment, where adtech people are the experimenters and users are the subjects. In fact, we're all market participants, everyone is an active player, and ignoring or blocking potentially deceptive information like retargeting is a reasonable move.

Related: Why users will have a L.E.A.N. beef with adtech