Browsing the web today is quite a unique experience for us all. That’s not a philosophical or poetic point: it’s the result of Marketing evolving to such a level that mass efforts have been discarded for far more personalised and specific executions. Customers today expect personalised content, and marketing has risen to the challenge.
It’s not a coincidence anymore that, when browsing for that new sports watch, suddenly you’re seeing ads for FitBit everywhere. It’s not by chance that your research into real estate has triggered banner ads popping up all over your Facebook feed telling you to click to see the Commonwealth Bank’s new mortgage package. It’s not selective sight seeing ads for ASOS beckoning you back after shopping on their online store after abandoning your cart before purchase.
The internet is a very smart creature today, and has reached a level of targeting that transcends anything seen before. What I’m talking about here is the technique of Retargeting.
What Is Retargeting?
Retargeting (also sometimes referred to as remarketing) is responsible for the phenomena mentioned above. Basically, it facilitates re-engagement from a customer after they’ve left a brand’s website.
Retargeting gathers a specific person’s buying preferences, and then shows them targeted online adverts as they surf the net, to keep those relevant brands in front of them. The majority of customers (around 98%) who visit a website will actually leave (known as “bounce”) before completing a purchase or performing a converting action. Retargeting addresses this by leveraging purchase intent data from that website (such as likes, shopping cart behaviour, history, time on site, clicks, and so on), and placing a small piece of code as a cookie on their browser, so that when they visit retargeting provider pages like Facebook, the individual is served ads tailored specifically for them.
This is a very effective marketing tool as it allows powerful, precisely targeted ads to be directed to each specific customer, encouraging them back to the original website to complete their transaction and convert.
Part Of A Larger Campaign
Obviously, this works best as part of an overall digital Marketing campaign. After all, you need customers to already know about your brand and visit your website for the first time as a result of an overarching promotion campaign, before you can effectively utilise retargeting to nurture and make them feel comfortable about returning to your website and trusting your brand. Retargeting is a good way to bolster this larger campaign.
Don’t Frustrate Your Customers
Retargeting, however, requires a very delicate balance. It should be a complementary execution to your marketing mix, not an endless annoyance to your customers. Serving the wrong ad to the wrong person too many times (over bombardment) is the negative side of retargeting, and must be avoided. Retargeting works most effectively when it’s a subtle, top-of-mind reminder, and not a hounding series of propaganda.
The ideal point is when the individual views the retargeted ads as a convenience, where ads are catered to their specific needs, rather than harassment, with ads stalking them around the internet. It’s important to get this delicate balance correct.
The Multiplatform Scope
An effective retargeting strategy must span across many platforms, given the nature of the consumer today. These include desktops, mobile devices and social media. Most customers own multiple devices and will research on one platform, only to complete their transaction and post feedback on another, so retargeting must be reaching them via a multi-platform approach.
Get The Most Out Of Retargeting
Effectively using Retargeting lies in segmentation, creative design, experimentation and measurement.
Segmentation puts the right strategies in place to ensure the correct messages are delivered to the right consumer. For example, a loyal customer will require a different type of message to one that is still unsure about purchasing. Correct segmentation ensures that a converted customer receives loyalty campaigns and cross selling messages, whereas a non-converted customer receives discounts and reassuring messages to bring them back to the site.
Creative design on retargeting adverts work best when they’re kept simple and bold, display the brand prominently, have a direct call to action, and present a personalised message. After all, if you’re going to all the trouble of individualising your Marketing massaging, don’t waste the opportunity to connect directly with your customer.
Experiment with different designs, frequencies, locations and landing pages to discover what gets the best result. As it is a specifically targeted campaign, it’s often difficult to determine what resonates best with an individual segment.
Effective measurement is always key when determining the success of each marketing endeavour. Retargeting can meet customer retention, brand awareness and sales objectives, and the most commonly uses statistics to track progress are “Cost Per Action” and “Cost Per Clicks”.
This was just an introduction into Retargeting. It’s a very vast area and worth exploring in more detail before setting out on your own campaign. But the results speak for themselves. Goodluck!