Branding Implications of Programmatic Advertising: a study of retargeting

Anders Munkesø Kjærbøll

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

As consumers are moving towards a digital media-consuming world, advertisers follow with ever more sophisticated marketing tools to utilize the new technological potentials to reach their audiences. With the large amounts of data available to track campaign performance and attribute success based on digital interactions with consumers, the speed at which a brand needs to adapt to this new context has consequences for brand management. With all this data available, marketers are able to steer their campaigns to target potential customers that have visited their website with banner ads on any website they visit subsequently, be it news sites, social networks, cooking or DIY sites etc. This media buying strategy, called retargeting, has proven to be extremely efficient from a ROI perspective, but might have negative consequences in terms of consumers becoming aware of these targeted ads. Due to this awareness, some consumers might infer that a persuasive attempt to make them buy from a brand is being deployed which activates a consumer’s persuasion knowledge. Via a retargeting experiment, this study explores this consequence and how consumers are affected by retargeting from an attitudinal and persuasive perspective. The findings confirm this hypothesized consequence as persuasion knowledge is found to be activated to a higher degree for respondents that are treated with a high frequency of targeted ads during the experiment where they are compared with a group which receives low frequency and a control group which receives none targeted ads. Furthermore, qualitative data about the respondents’ beliefs and opinions about retargeting are analyzed to explore the triggers and pitfalls of retargeting. The findings from this study have implications for research within digital advertising as it proves the applicability of attitude theory and persuasion knowledge as well as both managerial implication for campaign execution and brand management as negative consequences of retargeting are discovered.

EducationsMSc in Brand and Communications Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2015
Number of pages116