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!
Applying for that next big job with the fancy perks, the fresh new career prospect and the big pay cheque has become second nature to a lot of us these days, especially with Generation Y rising through the ranks. It’s not a particularly bad thing- in fact, it’s a healthy thing, as it demonstrates a shift in thinking from living-to-work, to working-to-live. Change is as good as a holiday, and with our employment consuming such a large part of lives each week, combined with the huge array of opportunities that exist, who can blame us? Everyone today is far more focused on job satisfaction and work-life balance, because we want to feel empowered, appreciated, and fulfilled.
This trend is nothing new, but there is a different pattern emerging as businesses start to recognise how fast the commercial environment is evolving today.
Perhaps only a few years ago, employment agencies and employers themselves would stipulate that sheer experience in a similar role was the only qualification that was absolutely essential. It was in every job ad (usually in bold), and seemed to be the only criterion that was of any importance. If you had five years experience, you were in; and this made sense: as an employer, you want someone that can do their job well and maximise output in each role pretty much from the word ‘go’. While this is still the case, and still important, there has been a noticeable shift in recruitment, with employers starting to focus strongly on other, even more valuable characteristics in their candidates (and if they’re not, they should be).
Change has always been the only permanent constant, and, while this has been said over and over for years, it has never been truer than it is today. Industries and global economies are embracing technology at a rate never even seen or imagined before, business models are evolving, product offerings are more innovative, and the customer has become such a well-informed, complex being, that Marketing has had to reassess it’s techniques to what I have called the “Empathetic Marketing” approach (see: http://www.melottimedia.com.au/blog/the-road-to-re-humanising-marketing).
With all of these changes occurring on a daily basis, an organisation has to adapt or die. Therefore, they need to be full of employees up to this kind of challenge. This means that the ability to appreciate, embrace and adapt to change is becoming the most important virtue an employee can possess, especially with management. Gone are the days of conservative executives and the inertia of upper management; if an organisation isn’t looking at itself constantly and re-evaluating its competitive position, it’s going to have a turbulent future. An innovative workplace embraces this challenge, and a healthy (not to mention profitable) culture will emerge to take on the new world.
So, when hiring, ensure that you’re delving deep for the switched-on, change-embracing, innovative candidate who will see your business through an ever-evolving landscape. Equally as important, as a person looking for your dream job, earn their respect by ensuring that your resume reflects your recognition of this kind of environment, emphasises your strengths and experiences in striving to adapt and experiment, your willingness to problem solve, and your commitment to embracing inevitable change.
Marketing In The New Era: The Difference Between Marketing and Advertising
All advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising. If you and your organisation see it as the same, then now is the time to rethink your marketing efforts. Basically, it means that you're opening up a box of crayons ("marketing"), and trying to create a colourful masterpiece with only one colour ("advertising"), then wondering why the canvas is lacklustre and not attracting interested buyers.
The other day, one of my house mates said to me, "as a marketer, your industry is dying because I just ignore all advertising now, and I don't think I'm alone." This is quite an interesting statement as he was highlighting the very misconception between marketing and advertising.
Marketing is an all-encompassing, essential practise, which includes elements such as organisational strategy, customer research, trend investigation, public relations, social media promotion, product design, pricing techniques, promotional campaign activities, distribution management, demographic analysis, positioning, competitor research, innovation, concept design, bundling, content creation, copywriting, and so on. All of these efforts need to be working together to build a successful organisation.
It's understandable where all of this confusion has emerged about what marketing actually. Advertising is really the only highly overt form of marketing which everyone actively notices. It's called 'above-the-line' and is the promoting of brand awareness to a large target audience via mass media, such as television, print and radio. My house mate was half right: the traditional mass advertising trend is starting to become ineffective, because consumers are so utterly bombarded now that they are learning to automatically filter out messages of no interest to them.
The practise of marketing is very different these days, with organisations shifting away from just advertising, and towards what I call Empathetic Marketing: developing a strategy that focuses on catering to the human person. Advertising is all about forcing messages onto a potential customers, but other methods of marketing are now far more effective and consumer friendly. Organisational blogging is a way to reach people with general content that engages them in a less intrusive way. PR activities draw people in, encourage their feedback by joining in on the conversation, thus creating highly coveted word-of-mouth. Podcasting is usually free and enjoyable for people to listen to at their convenience, and if scripted well, will gain a following of consumers that actively download each episode and end up as an advocate. Social media connects consumers to each other and offers advice and opens forums, thus easing the barriers to purchase.
Today’s consumers expect more than noisy, forceful messages. They want to be catered to, appreciated, wooed and persuaded. They distrust forceful messaging, and look to other, more trustworthy sources that essentially are other angles of marketing. This doesn't mean that you can use marketing to manipulate them in more subtle ways, as that's not true. Today, people are highly educated and informed, and are extremely judgemental about these channels, so effective marketing requires high quality efforts. Poor campaigns and uninspired campaigns will surely fail.
Today’s marketing channels are new, innovative, fluid and highly digital, and so marketing efforts must reflect this, offering the consumer engagement, information, and interactive advice. The key to successful marketing is to value your customers; engage with them, offer them advice, respond, invest your time in them and customise your offering to them, so that their experience is ultimately unique and rewarding. This is not simply recommended, it is essential as your target audience now expect it. There are too many competitors out there waiting for your organisation to ‘drop the ball’.
Marketing is no longer about forcing advertising down a customer's throat; it's about getting to know your customer and being interested in what they really want, their preferences and opening communication in order to build relationships. Think carefully about them and how your product or service will benefit them and then actively engage with them to demonstrate your empathetic marketing.