Thursday, September 09, 2010

Re-targeting Technology - "The Pants That Stalked Me on the Web"

The Pants That Stalked Me on the Web - Advertising Age - DigitalNext
"I surfed over to my favorite apparel website, Zappos, now a part of Amazon.

After a few clicks, Zappos' recommendation engine went to work and started offering me the selections that people who looked at the same shorts I did ultimately bought -- a cool idea and a feature that has been useful to me in the past.

Then, I abandoned the search and did something else. That's when the weirdness started.

In the five days since, those recommendations have been appearing just about everywhere I've been on the web, including MSNBC, Salon, and The Guardian. The ad scrolls through my Zappos recommendations: Hurley, Converse by John Varvatos, Quicksilver, Rip Curl, Volcom. Whatever. At this point I've started to actually think I never really have to go back to Zappos to buy the shorts -- no need, they're following me."

That story might sound creepy at first. But I find the technology both fascinating and a great tool for marketers. Have a look at Criteo, who are behind the technology. Here's how it works.

This is like AdWords on steroids... and marketers should definitely see better ROI. Because you already know the prospect has shown interest, as opposed to just randomly displaying ads based on the content he's currently browsing. And user stories such as the one above prove that the technology works in the real world ;)