Rethinking Retargeting

Just a quick post to make sure folks saw Richard Frankel’s article today on AdExchanger.

A couple solid, related tidbits in there.

The first point is about attribution.  Richard cautions that retargeting often “steals” attribution from other tactics unless careful steps are taken to prevent it from happening.  DR tactics stealing attribution from upper-funnel tactics is an important topic on which we have written before.  As we mention in that article, it’s also the subject of an entire body of work by Microsoft’s Atlas Institute.

The second point is about the importance of finding new prospects and customers, not just retargeting old ones.  This difference between “demand creation” and “demand fulfillment” (as’s Jim Spanfeller has somewhat famously put it) is something that needs to be understood and carefully considered when developing a comprehensive marketing and media strategy.

As online media marches past a 30% share of total media consumption, new technologies are eroding offline media like TV and print.  Both demand fulfillment and demand creation budgets alike must follow consumers online.

About Andy Atherton
I am currently an SVP at AppNexus. I previously spent four years as COO and cofounder of, a pioneer in programmatic reserve technology and leading digital media buying solution for top brands. Prior to, I was Vice President of Pricing and Yield Management for Yahoo!, responsible for maximizing monetization of a global portfolio of display inventory worth $2B annually. Beginning in 2002, I created, developed and globalized Yahoo’s PYM function over a period of five years. Prior to Yahoo!, I was president and cofounder of Optivo, a venture-backed start-up that developed price optimization software for e-commerce retailers. More on LinkedIn...

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