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Retargeting & .gov

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  • john_estill@...
    Opinion time. Given: Retargeting is an understood technology. It has pluses and minuses. It can be used to great effect and can be misused exponentially. I
    Message 1 of 9 , May 30, 2014

      Opinion time.


      Given:

      Retargeting is an understood technology. It has pluses and minuses. It can be used to great effect and can be misused exponentially.

      I have read a dozen articles online about the subject.

      I have searched the conversations in this discussion forum. (Not much to go on)


      Question:

      Would it be an appropriate marketing tool for a government agency to use? (It would only be used on specific pages. Not the whole site.) Does it cross a privacy line?


      Simplified example from a forum thread in 2010: A person goes to a shoes site, clicks a couple times, doesn't buy. They continue about their life. A couple days later, they get ads for those shoes. 


      Typical of how retargeting works.


      Now, my question: Citizen browses government agency website that sells an item needed by citizen. (license to do something. i.e. driving, hunting, fishing, waste hauler, whatever)  Would it be acceptable to later be targeted by an ad for the online purchasing system to buy said license?



      Fun, huh?



    • Patrick Mazzotta
      Retargeting for commerce has the clear objective of increasing revenue by improving long-tail conversions. Most government agencies I ve worked with have
      Message 2 of 9 , May 31, 2014

        Retargeting for commerce has the clear objective of increasing revenue by improving long-tail conversions.

        Most government agencies I've worked with have always stated that user convenience and simplicity were the objectives of their websites. Generally with the end goal of operational cost reduction.

        Is revenue the objective of your government's site? If so, retargeting may be a useful practice to adopt. If revenue is a secondary concern to others, the ROI probably doesn't add up in the long math.

      • Wandering Dave Rhee
        Hi, John, My personal opinion is that most people have an expectation that a government site will behave like most in-person government agencies. That is,
        Message 3 of 9 , May 31, 2014
          Hi, John,

          My personal opinion is that most people have an expectation that a government site will behave like most in-person government agencies. That is, you're a nameless, faceless number when you go to renew your driver's license or get in line at the post office to mail your holiday packages, and that you and your transactions will not be remembered. Of course, that's not true in a small town culture, but it's true for most people in most cities.

          Because the web site should match user's expectations, it should not remember visitors when they return, and certainly not go ring their doorbells to ask them if they meant to buy something they browsed earlier.

          However, you might try testing with a small widget, by asking when someone is on the license purchase page, "Not now, but please remind me the next time I return to this site," or "Not now, but please send me an email reminder in 7 days," then set a cookie for on-site targeting, or collect an email and send a reminder, respectively. If they select the option during the test period, you can return a message saying, "Thanks for your request, but unfortunately this test feature is still in implementation," and simply tally the count. If the count is too low to make the implementation profitable, then you can safely abandon the project.

          Even if the percentage of visitors who opt-in to on-site or email reminders is very high, I would still not recommend making opt-in the default, and forcing an opt-out, because it goes against their likely expectations.

          WDave


          On Sat, May 31, 2014 at 3:03 PM, Patrick Mazzotta pmazzotta@... [webanalytics] <webanalytics@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
           

          Retargeting for commerce has the clear objective of increasing revenue by improving long-tail conversions.

          Most government agencies I've worked with have always stated that user convenience and simplicity were the objectives of their websites. Generally with the end goal of operational cost reduction.

          Is revenue the objective of your government's site? If so, retargeting may be a useful practice to adopt. If revenue is a secondary concern to others, the ROI probably doesn't add up in the long math.


        • Greg Moore
          I don t like it when ads follow me around. If it s possible, it would be more low key to have the ads that follow me around rotate. Seems less creepy if I
          Message 4 of 9 , May 31, 2014
            I don't like it when ads follow me around.

            If it's possible, it would be more low key to have the ads that follow me around rotate.  Seems less creepy if I would see different ads, and also if there was not a mass number of ads, but just occasional ones.  Don't know if these are AdWords options....



            Gregory Moore
            San Francisco



            On Sat, May 31, 2014 at 6:03 AM, Patrick Mazzotta pmazzotta@... [webanalytics] <webanalytics@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
             

            Retargeting for commerce has the clear objective of increasing revenue by improving long-tail conversions.

            Most government agencies I've worked with have always stated that user convenience and simplicity were the objectives of their websites. Generally with the end goal of operational cost reduction.

            Is revenue the objective of your government's site? If so, retargeting may be a useful practice to adopt. If revenue is a secondary concern to others, the ROI probably doesn't add up in the long math.


          • aknach
            Probably the cookie pool of qualified segment is so small that even a campaign with an exceptional high conversion rate will be very marginal. Alessandro Knach
            Message 5 of 9 , May 31, 2014
              Probably the cookie pool of qualified segment is so small that even a campaign with an exceptional high conversion rate will be very marginal.

              Alessandro Knach


            • john_estill@...
              Thank you for your replies Alessandro, Dave, Greg, and Patrick! So, 75% of you (small data set used in an unreasonable way!) don t seem to have an issue that a
              Message 6 of 9 , Jun 2, 2014
                Thank you for your replies Alessandro, Dave, Greg, and Patrick!

                So, 75% of you (small data set used in an unreasonable way!) don't seem to have an issue that a government website would use this type of tracking/advertising. 

                In reality, we have a clear goal of increasing online purchases of licenses. Ad re-targeting seems like a reasonable way to do it. But, there are few coworkers that are a little, shall we say, iffy about setting cookies on citizen's browsers. 


                Thank you for your input!

              • Greg Moore
                I don t care if the government sets cookies on my browser. What I find creepy is ads that follow me around. I m not the only one. And the GOVERNMENT doing
                Message 7 of 9 , Jun 2, 2014
                  I don't care if the government sets cookies on my browser.

                  What I find creepy is ads that follow me around.  I'm not the only one.

                  And the GOVERNMENT doing that?  In these times?  When daily we hear about new invasions of privacy by the government?  You're kidding right?  This has got to be the stupidest idea I've heard in a while.

                  You have doubts or you wouldn't be posting this query.  As do some of your coworkers.

                  As the Zen Master says, When in doubt, throw it out.

                  #tonedeaf     #GetSomeAdviceFromAnExpertInPR     #BlowUpInYourFace

                  Gregory Moore
                  San Francisco



                  On Mon, Jun 2, 2014 at 7:00 AM, john_estill@... [webanalytics] <webanalytics@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                   

                  Thank you for your replies Alessandro, Dave, Greg, and Patrick!


                  So, 75% of you (small data set used in an unreasonable way!) don't seem to have an issue that a government website would use this type of tracking/advertising. 

                  In reality, we have a clear goal of increasing online purchases of licenses. Ad re-targeting seems like a reasonable way to do it. But, there are few coworkers that are a little, shall we say, iffy about setting cookies on citizen's browsers. 


                  Thank you for your input!


                • Patrick Mazzotta
                  To Greg s point, re-targeting is an art - like dating. If you do it properly, everyone s happy and gets what they want/expected. If you mess it up, you get
                  Message 8 of 9 , Jun 3, 2014
                    To Greg's point, re-targeting is an art - like dating. If you do it properly, everyone's happy and gets what they want/expected. If you mess it up, you get labelled as "creepy" and people stop dating you.

                    ;)

                    Re-targeting, as a practice and principle, isn't inherently creepy. It's all in the implementation!

                    Patrick Mazzotta
                    Co-Founder & CEO
                    Craedone Inc.
                  • Greg Moore
                    Patrick, I have not worked with retargeting, so I don t know the options for doing it properly. I just notice ads by people that keep following me around.
                    Message 9 of 9 , Jun 3, 2014
                      Patrick,

                      I have not worked with retargeting, so I don't know the options for doing it properly.  I just notice ads by people that keep following me around.

                      Dating?  Retargeting to me seems like being at a party and having the same person come up to me many times, saying, Want to go on a date?  Want to come back to my place tonight?

                      Hey, I just met you....

                      Since this is an analytics forum, do you have any tips for looking at the data - perhaps for a new client - and getting a sense of whether they are doing the right way or the creepy way?

                      Thanks!

                      - Greg

                      Gregory Moore
                      San Francisco




                      On Tue, Jun 3, 2014 at 9:12 AM, Patrick Mazzotta pmazzotta@... [webanalytics] <webanalytics@yahoogroups.com> wrote:
                       

                      To Greg's point, re-targeting is an art - like dating. If you do it properly, everyone's happy and gets what they want/expected. If you mess it up, you get labelled as "creepy" and people stop dating you.

                      ;)

                      Re-targeting, as a practice and principle, isn't inherently creepy. It's all in the implementation!

                      Patrick Mazzotta
                      Co-Founder & CEO
                      Craedone Inc.


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