Beyond the Banner Ad: The Art and Science of Retargeting
Retargeting is the practice of getting your marketing message in front of people you know to have previously engaged with your brand. Sometimes referred to as remarketing, this tactic places a brand’s online advertisements in front of previous website visitors to help drive online conversions. Using retargeting, 26 percent of users return to complete the checkout process, resulting in sales that would otherwise have been lost.
Banner ads are the classic example of retargeting. Someone comes to your website and later sees a banner ad from your company on another site to remind them of what they viewed. However, retargeting can be used in a much broader way. The practice continues to be an effective strategy for digital commerce retailers to stay fresh in the minds of would-be purchasers. It is imperative that your brand has a way to shine through.
Here we give four strategies that will help your team focus on generating returns on your retargeting investment.
1. Have an Integrated Strategy Across All Digital Channels
The mention of remarketing causes most people to think of banner ads. However, today’s sophisticated marketers are executing across all digital marketing channels. A truly integrated strategy includes:
- Social media — such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest and/or LinkedIn
- Amazon — especially if you are a retail or CPG brand
- Google — via remarketing lists for search ads (RLSAs). RLSAs allow you to use audience data in search campaigns so you can adjust the “Bid Only” setting to reconnect and re-engage valuable prospects while they search.
With more channels at their disposal, your team will need to keep consistency and pacing in mind. For example, using caps on frequency (how many times someone sees an ad) and recency (when did someone last see an ad or last buy a product) can help your team target and bid on users based on when and how often they last visited the site.
It’s also important to consider velocity, or the pace at which someone is engaging with the brand. For example, if someone has visited the site 12 times this week but only visited 3 times last week, they are at a higher velocity (and possibly more interesting to target) than someone visiting 15 times this week, but 13 times last week. In the first case, the curve is steeper, indicating greater velocity.
2. Go Beyond Digital
Forty-six percent of marketing professionals believe that retargeting is the most underused marketing technology. However, email or banner ads may not be the right motivator to encourage customers to complete their purchase. Offline marketing via direct mail may be a more powerful way to close that sale.
Patrick Kuehn is Senior VP, Sales and Marketing at ObjectWave. Speaking five languages, he specializes in international business in the digital age. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more of his advice on integrated marketing, check out the article "5 Steps to Driving Traffic and Delivering Results with SEO" and guide "Search Engine Marketing: Creating a Holistic Paid Search Strategy" over at Objectwave.