Twitter entered the programmatic realm today with an ad retargeting feature called Tailored Audiences. But with Black Friday and Cyber Monday in the rearview mirror, is it too late for holiday-minded retailers to fully take advantage of the better-aimed Promoted Tweets that are now available? After all, Fortune 500 brands formalized their yuletide marketing budgets weeks ago.
Nathaniel Perez, global head of social experience at SapientNitro, doesn't think it is too late. "Twitter is very talented at releasing features that are incredibly simple to buy into," he said. "Retargeting will be ... a dramatic improvement to media buyers' existing holiday plans."
San Francisco-based Twitter said beta-testing clients like Delta Air Lines and HubSpot have been seeing improved engagement rates with their retargeted ads. But being it is December, the marketing community will watch closely to see how retargeting on the social platform does out of the gate on a big stage—especially when it comes to zeroing in on on-the-go consumers.
"Twitter needs to prove [itself] this month as being an effective tool for mobile advertising for the retail industry," said Gil Regev, vp, marketing at MassiveImpact. "Twitter needs to single [itself] out from [its] rival Facebook as the go-to mobile advertising platform for the retail industry. Up until now, Facebook has achieved the status of king in the mobile commerce world. If Twitter can achieve a high percentage of retail sales this month, it will speak volumes for how retailers will view them during 2014."
Sucharita Mulpuru, Forrester Research retail analyst, suggested that the upgraded targeting development was indeed just in time for the holidays, as Promoted Tweet performance, in her estimation, has been lacking. "I haven't yet seen any Promoted Tweets be game changers," she said. "Maybe you can have some killer personalized tweet with an awesome call to action for someone who has visited a site before. ... That's what it would need to be to be effective."
One of Twitter's ad-tech partners for the retargeting initiative, Chango, expects retailers to jump on board. "I don't think it's too late for them to take advantage of it," said Dax Hamman, chief strategy officer of the Toronto-based company. "In fact, what we see is an opportunity in terms of finding a new way to connect with consumers."