“Search and the New Retargeting” Panel at OMMA Behavioral


Earlier this week I participated with an august group in a panel on the OMMA Behavioral Conference in San Francisco entitled “Search and the New Retargeting”

It was great to see that advertisers at a Behavioral Targeting conference are now understanding that search retargeting is not just for search advertisers, but for display advertisers as well. As discussed on the panel, search retargeting has significant advantages over many types of behavioral targeting:

  • Custom Segments to Match Each Campaign/Creative.
    • Because audiences to be targeted are defined by the keywords searched on by users,  advertisers can quickly create custom audiences that are precisely tuned to each campaign simply by uploading or editing lists of search terms.
  • Fully transparent.
    • Just like search, advertisers can bid, report, and optimize at the keyword level…enabling them to see precisely the costs, impressions, clicks, click through conversions, and view through conversions attributed to each keyword.
    • Campaign performance can be improved by de-averaging at the keyword level (eliminating poorly performing keywords and putting more budget behind keywords that are performing strongly).
  • Instant on/instant change.
    • Keywords can be instantly added or removed from campaigns, without the need to build new cookie pools every time there is a change.
  • Fully intent based with variable search recency.
    • Search retargeting targets users who have signaled their intent by entering search terms that the advertiser specifies.
    • Search recency can be instantly changed any time through out a campaign.

The panel also spent some time on whether search retargeting should live with the display teams or with the search teams in agencies. I’m not sure that the panel came to a conclusion on this topic. Of course, we think that it can be used by both search and display teams. Search teams use search retargeting to extend their search campaigns and drive more branded and lower funnel search. Display teams use search retargeting to drive brand awareness with user who are currently in market.

A third topic of the panel was attribution. This topic could be a whole panel (or conference!) to itself. I think that everyone agrees that better attribution models are needed, and that for the most part these models will shift some credit from lower funnel paid search to display as well as upper funnel paid search. In the meantime, we work with what we have!

For anyone interested, a video of the panel is posted here.