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Busting the myth! Retargeting is a creepy stalker

Do you ever look at something and get a déjà vu?

In this era, chances are that feeling might just be a simple retargeting practice.

Retargeting is when marketers reach out to the prospects that previously engaged with the company. So, if you come across a familiar advertisement while you’re browsing online, that’s retargeting.

And while it could be an effective practice for marketers, the audience might feel that they’re being stalked.

“Retargeting is a creepy stalker” – This is a myth that has affected many marketers, which led them to believe that retargeting practice isn’t worth it.

So, this week I reached out to 7 experts that helped me unveil yet another myth.

Hear from the experts – Is retargeting a creepy stalker?

1. Anatolii Ulitovskyi 

Founder, SEOtools 

All marketing methods are creepy stalkers. Most methods don’t work for each company. It’s better to find what works for you considering your preferences and unique selling proposition. Retargeting is a powerful tool that helps to get customers back. These myths appeal because of low brand recognition or poor quality of products. Customers are clever than ever. They read reviews before buying. If retargeting doesn’t work for you then it’s better to analyze what kind of other problems you might have.  

2. Brian Dean 

Founder, Exploding Topics 

To be honest, remarketing has been proven time and time again to be effective. Remarketing has been found to be effective by a large number of advertisers. To be honest, we use remarketing and it has worked out nicely for us. 
You can also use remarketing to better match a visitor’s individual needs. It’s possible to display a targeted ad to someone who’s already shown interest in bikini swimwear, along with an additional incentive that could persuade them to rethink their opinion, like a “20% off” discount. And that seems like a reasonable usage because if your visitor sees an offer like that, or free delivery, etc., they could reconsider buying from you. 

3. Joseph Bushnell 

Founder, Joseph Bushnell 

I do see why people can get a bit freaked out the first time they notice they are being retargeted. However, I think awareness has developed to a point that most consumers know what it is happening, even if they don’t fully understand the technology behind it. Personally, I love being retargeted. On many occasions I intended to read or buy something but I got distracted and then forgot about it. Luckily a retargeting ad served as a very useful reminder to go back and finish up where I left off. There’s no need to fear retargeting. Embrace it! 

4. Kenneth Mackay

Google Ads Specialist, Initiative2 

Retargeting is not the issue; it’s how it’s used. 

A stalker is an unwelcome follower. 

But if you really like someone, and see them everywhere, that’s great. 

So, it is with retargeting. 

Make sure you retarget the right people, and make sure you display relevant and useful stuff. 

Then you’re not a stalker; they’re flattered that you’re paying them attention. 

5. Greg Gillman 

Chief Revenue Officer, Mutesix 

As with any myth, marketing misinformation is floating around out there and should be debunked. This is why it’s essential that businesses do their own research, and closely monitor their data and marketing strategies to separate fact from fiction. 

For example, some may (falsely) believe that social media campaigns work only for specific demographics. However, in reality, this is probably due to the fact that they aren’t looking at the right platforms. Often, a strategy isn’t a poor idea on its own, but it isn’t being implemented correctly. To solve for this, segment your audiences, look at target demographics, and then create separate campaigns that will cater toward those particular users. When you do your due diligence like this, you are able to see with your own eyes how accurate sweeping beliefs are in reality. 

6. Andrew Maff 

Founder, BlueTuskr 

Retargeting is a pretty standard practice but it can act like a creepy stalker. Every piece of data a company has on you can and will be used against you. However, people should also know that the company is only doing it because they want to show you what you’re most interested in. If you saw a bunch of ads that you didn’t care about at all it would probably be more annoying than consistently seeing things you already like. 

7. Liz Raad

Co-Founder, eBusiness Institute 

The line ‘Retargeting is a creepy stalker’ is very much a myth to any marketer who values display ads, automated and subscription marketing and overall driving traffic. People gloss over that website seek to obtain informed consent from their users to share key information that could have been missed on the user’s first stop to the website.

Retargeting is more like an effective virtual assistant that can help consumers identify what they like the best, and see only their preferences. This can help form lasting brand awareness connections, empowering customers to make better, more informed choices in their purchasing journeys.   

It also helps users cut time and space through ineffective advertising, playing a critical role to those who have picked personalized ads for their accounts.


When it comes to retargeting, it can seem like a creepy stalker.

However, if you target your marketing strategy towards a specific demographic that are actively looking for a solution, then it will attract more customers.

From the responses that are featured in this article, it’s clear that retargeting isn’t creepy when done the right way. So, don’t let this myth pull you back; experiment and conquer!

Jainy Patel

Being an ardent reader and content editor, Jainy draws inspiration from every situation and story. She spends her time developing creative content to invoke the reader's interest. An ambivert with an interest in art, when she's not writing, you'll find her reading or occupied in a creative project.

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