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Super Retargeting: Is Sequential Advertising the Next Leap Forward?

December 11, 2013 By Thorin McGee
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According to a recent article in Ad Week by Garett Sloane, "sequential advertising" that tracks the viewer from device to device, and delivers relevant messaging at each stop, could be marketing's next great leap forward. It offers the chance to truly reach the right person with the right message at the right time.

However, the hurdle is personally identifying viewers as they hop from device to device. This goes beyond being able to retarget the person with the same ad a hundred times, to being able to serve a sequential message that builds up, is sensitive to the experiences being had across devices, and hopefully touches the nerves that lead to more sales. Sloane talks about some of the technological options being developed to facilitate this, such as Microsoft's multi-device tracking. He also mentions that, in testing, sequential advertising does seem to increase sales.

This technology raises significant marketing questions, though. For starters, all of these multi-device tracking solutions seem to stick the marketer with a single provider. So you can track the Microsoft users as they move from PC to Surface tablet to Nokia phone. But what if that person goes from a PC (the still-dominant brand of desktop computers) to an iOS or Android phone? Will the providers partner to pass along session information? Would the FTC or FCC even allow that? Would it all just seem creepy to your users—especially if their devices cross ecosystems?

Would you want to use sequential advertising like this in your marketing? Would you want to be targeted by it yourself?


 

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