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Does your ad campaign develop amnesia?

I’ve been watching with guarded excitement as programmatic advertising and retargeting seem to be improving by leaps and bounds. It amazes me how ad networks can consistently find the right people to advertise to–it borders on the miraculous to someone like me, who grew up in a time where every piece of media was mass media. They hardly knew who you were or what you wanted.

But as amazing as it is to see the pinpoint targeting of ads to bring people to your website, I am flummoxed by the complete lack of understanding of those same people should they actually click on an ad. We targeted bald, one-eyed accountants with the ad, but when some of them clicked through to our site, we served them all the same content anyone else would get who landed on those pages. We had no idea who those people are that we painstakingly targeted.

It’s corporate amnesia. Whatever we knew when we showed the ad, we forgot when we showed the resulting page.

It’s a sad fact that ad networks know far more about their clients’ customers than their clients do. These fabulous tactics that reveal interests, web history,  demographics, geography, and more are mostly unavailable to website developers whose code displays the pages on your site.

The ad networks choose from thousands of ads in realtime to show the best one to that person, When they click through on your website, they see the same offers that everyone else does.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can use many of the same techniques the ad networks do on your own website–if you’re unwilling to settle for what everyone else does.

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Mike Moran

Mike Moran is an expert in digital marketing, search technology, social media, text analytics, web personalization, and web metrics, who, as a Certified Speaking Professional, regularly makes speaking appearances. Mike’s previous appearances include keynote speaking appearances worldwide. Mike serves as a senior strategist for Converseon, an AI powered consumer intelligence technology and consulting firm. He is also a senior strategist for SoloSegment, a marketing automation software solutions and services firm. Mike also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of SEMPO. Mike spent 30 years at IBM, rising to Distinguished Engineer, an executive-level technical position. Mike held various roles in his IBM career, including eight years at IBM’s customer-facing website, ibm.com, most recently as the Manager of ibm.com Web Experience, where he led 65 information architects, web designers, webmasters, programmers, and technical architects around the world. Mike's newest book is Outside-In Marketing with world-renowned author James Mathewson. He is co-author of the best-selling Search Engine Marketing, Inc. (with fellow search marketing expert Bill Hunt), now in its Third Edition. Mike is also the author of the acclaimed internet marketing book, Do It Wrong Quickly: How the Web Changes the Old Marketing Rules, named one of best business books of 2007 by the Miami Herald. Mike founded and writes for Biznology® and writes regularly for other blogs. In addition to Mike’s broad technical background, he holds an Advanced Certificate in Market Management Practice from the Royal UK Charter Institute of Marketing and is a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business. He also teaches at Rutgers Business School. He is a Senior Fellow at the Society for New Communications Research. Mike worked at ibm.com from 1998 through 2006, pioneering IBM’s successful search marketing program. IBM’s website of over two million pages was a classic “big company” website that has traditionally been difficult to optimize for search marketing. Mike, working with Bill Hunt, developed a strategy for search engine marketing that works for any business, large or small. Moran and Hunt spearheaded IBM’s content improvement that has resulted in dramatic gains in traffic from Google and other internet portals.

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