How Does Re-Targeting Work?

TruEffect has branded first party ad serving under the trademark name DirectServe™ Technology.  But for the purpose of this post, let me simply define that this technology is a type of ad serving that enables an advertiser or agency to re-target known audiences in addition to driving new opportunities as is done with traditional third party ad serving today.


Re-targeting takes advantage of an advertiser’s existing relationship with a known audience.  This may be a customer-base, registrant-base or applicant-base.  It may also be a partial applicant, i.e., someone who dropped out of an application process.  Whatever the case may be, re-targeting requires that an advertiser have some previous interaction and relationship with an individual so that they can have had the opportunity to classify that person on an anonymous basis.  For example, a retailer may classify existing customers by shopping habits, buying frequency, etc. 


Now don’t get your privacy feathers all up in a bunch, because this already a widely accepted practice.  Retailers use first-party cookies to track the behaviors of their customers online.  Other sites use first party cookies to recognize their customers as well, like banks, online stock portfolio providers and customized news providers.  Any site that recognizes you when you get there has used a first party cookie to do so.  And generally speaking, it is convenient to you as a user that they have done so.


With re-targeting it is the same thing.  And advertiser uses their first-party cookie capability to segment their customers, registrants or other known audience.


DirectServe, TruEffect’s patented technology, enables the ad server to read the first party cookie of the advertiser so that it can target that cookie with ads.  Big picture … when the ad server encounters a member of an advertiser’s known audience, they can be recognized by the ad server, distinguished from an unknown individual and messaged to accordingly.


What exactly does that mean?  It means that when an advertiser uses an ad server to manage its campaign online, it can re-target its existing audience anywhere on the web at anytime – across any web site and any network.  It is not a prospect-generating tool like BT, but then again BT is really event-based targeting.  Re-targeting is based on known customer behaviors.  The cookies set, the first-party cookies are named value pairs set based on customer segment models determined by the advertiser, based on customer behavior.


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