I’m being watched.
I’m being followed.
I’m being trailed and I don’t like it.
I didn’t realize how slyly it was all happening of course but one day, I innocently went to the online site of a retailer of shoes (Zappos.com, looking for a pair of Skechers).
I found a pair that I liked, but I wasn’t ready just yet to click on to the check-out page to buy the shoes.
I left the site and for weeks now, the company has been trying to sell me that pair of shoes every chance it get. Whenever I open up one of their unrelated partner websites there’s a banner headline and advertisement.
They catch me when I open up any number of well known sites and lo and behold, there usually at the top of the page is an ad for those shoes. Again and again.
Is it a coincidence? Not at all.
Turns out this behavior has a name, remarketing. And I wasn’t the only one who has been remarketed.
Turns out none other than The New York Times plastered a similar story to me being followed right on the front page this week under the heading, “Seeing That Ad on Every Web Site? You’re Right, It’s Tracking You.”
Can you say “Big Brother is watching you and you don’t like it and you can’t do anything about it?”
Be careful what you click. Because remarketing is a remarkable way for marketers to get a second chance to sell you…and a third chance…and a fourth, fifth, sixth opportunity to get you to buy, and on and on.
My remarketing experience has literally been ‘one really big shoe’ pain in the foot.
Think about traditional shopping experiences. You walk into a shoe store (as I happened to do this week). A friendly salesperson comes up you (as she did to me) and offers to help you as she sees you browsing. Perhaps you politely say, “No thank you, but right now I’m just looking.”
End of discussion. No pressure. The salesperson doesn’t follow you from the shoe store to the furniture showroom and then stop to ask you if, before you look at furniture, whether you are now ready to buy that pair of shoes that you were looking at earlier in her store, does she?
Of course she doesn’t. Yet that’s the way it has been on the Internet.
Remarketing on the Internet is a growing phenomenon used by major marketers and advertisers. Some industry analysts are saying that this concept goes too far.
It’s a little eerie to be followed like this. Watching what I almost buy on one page and then catching me on another page. Gotcha. And gotcha again. I wonder how effective it all is.
Be careful what you click: Marketers are being sly, as they continue to try, keeping an eye, on what you’re looking to buy
Bottom line: Remarketing sounds like an Internet marketing click trick that’s sick and hopefully won’t stick.