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Why Marketers Can't Seem to Avoid Bombarding You With the Same Ad

One of the most annoying experiences online is getting hit for months with ads for something you already bought. Advertisers hate this problem, too, but they’re often ineffective in preventing it.

In a June survey of 82 senior marketing executives worldwide conducted by The CMO Club and Thunder, 78% of respondents said it is “inexcusable” for consumers to keep receiving ads for products they already bought. However, 60% were not confident in the accuracy of the reports they receive on ad frequency. Without really knowing how many times people are seeing a given ad, it’s difficult to prevent a user from seeing an ad too many times, or even worse—from seeing ads for stuff they just bought.

More than three-fourths of the 1,000 US consumers surveyed by Nanigans in March said they see too many retargeting ads from the same retailer.

Logistical roadblocks make it tough for ad buyers to compile accurate ad frequency reports.

For example, advertisers often use multiple retargeting and programmatic buying vendors. These vendors have their own dashboards and reports, which means their numbers might not align, so there may be discrepancies between the platforms over how many times a given user was reached. Getting all of these companies to cooperate and share data is easier said than done. And the report matching only becomes more complicated once you consider all of the cross-device data that users generate across their computers, phones and TVs.

One extreme solution to solving this problem is for advertisers to stop retargeting ads. Nanigans found that roughly 39% of the consumers they surveyed said this is the best approach for improving ad retargeting.

eMarketer PRO subscribers, look for our ad targeting report slated to publish later this week.