At first we sold digital advertisements at a fixed CMP (Cost Per Thousand) rate. Than as more companies developed ecommerce platforms, we all started looking at clicks/ click through rates (CTR) and conversions.
Under pressure from marketers to drive campaign efficiency higher, we got smarter and applied technology to narrow in on the clients' target market. By location (IP address), time, database information (such as email client logins) and more recently by demonstrated behaviour.
Enter retargeting. We started serving ads with products and services that people have just researched and in-market for. We blatantly re-messaged them and, surprise surprise, people noticed it. Outrage ensued. Battles over privacy meant regulation (in some countries) over cookie usage, alerts and messaging.
The storm (more or less) settled and Facebook allowed retargeting about a year ago. Now, a little over three years since they opened advertising up for the first time, and Twitter is prepping an online ad exchange to rival Facebook's. Twitter Exchange, 'TWX' or thereabout. (Abbreviation is speculation only!)
Why? Because retargeting works. And it works extremely well in driving conversions.
Twitter, great plans!
And Twitter- do allow dynamically served creative messaging (opposed to static ones, like those currently on Facebook). That's one way to ensure a stronger (>200%) CTR, as well as better conversion rates. And Twitter, that right there is what it's all about.