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Marketing Tech 101: What Is Retargeting Important?

November 23, 2015

I’ve been a writer for eight years; I realize there are still a lot of holes in making marketing and technology understandable for those in companies that may not have the knowledge set to understand what marketing and technology provide their companies. Many of them want to understand. So in no particular order, I’m going to start taking apart the questions I get asked in my daily work.  And I’m starting with retargeting, also known as remarketing.

Recently, I was asked about the importance of retargeting to customers and if it’s important – believe me, it is!

What Is Retargeting?

Retargeting, also known as remarketing, is the process of serving display ads to people that visit your website. For most websites, industry standard says that only an average 2% of web traffic converts (takes the action you want them to) on their first visit to your website. This number can be slightly higher or lower for B2B sites.

With retargeting, the goal is to reach the 97-99% of users who don’t convert right away and entice them to take the action you wanted them in the first place. Retargeting can be done two ways – through I.P. addresses  and cookies. As a marketer, it’s important to remember that retargeting works best in conjunction with inbound and outbound marketing efforts, and should also be tied tightly to the conversion optimization strategies that you have in place for your targeting and SEM efforts.

Did you know that the Google Display Network along contains two million websites and 650,000 android apps? It accounts for 29% of the display market.

For a newbie, it may be complicated, for a somewhat intelligent marketer, it’s complex. Retargeting requires multiple ad exchanges, it’s almost impossible for any one person to manage that volume unless their a SEM, data head guru. If you employ one, then you’re ahead of the curve.  For many of us, we’re at a much smaller scale and like many marketing departments, we’re limited on staff. The continual advancements in customer retargeting (like the Google customer match announcement), are critical pieces in helping you decide what you can handle in-house and what is better to outsource.

In-House Or Outsource: That Is The Question

If you outsource your retargeting, services like Performance Audience, AdRoll and Retargeter may be perfect it they fit your budget. These softwares are what’s known as managed platforms. For trade show and live event marketers, I recommend Feathr. Feathr was designed for live events and tradeshows, it’s monthly platform fee averages $100-$200; making it cost effective for events of almost any size. The platform is all-in-one integration to multiple exchanges and effectively manages the budget you have. I’ve found that leveraging retargeting software is a much more efficient use of your online ad spend and I can touch my audiences in much more cost effective ways -– on desktop and mobile.

Social networks are another important component of retargeting, while retargeting platforms can handle them on a top level, I prefer to manage them hands on through their self-service interfaces. In terms of social networks, I’ve found that Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn for lead gen and registration are best handled in-house because you can ultimately can refine your audiences and your messaging to cost per conversion and acquisition to levels not accomplished with platforms. Paid and earned social need human touch unless you’re managing large scale endeavors at enterprise level companies that require automation.

Retargeting can also be done through I.P. address services like El Toro and Modern Postcard. In this, you provide the business addresses of people in your database, these services then match back the I.P. to the business address. If they can match it, they can serve ads. Launching digital ads in conjunction with your direct mail helps increase campaign effectiveness, and also conversion. Be mindful that I.P. targeting is more “group” or “business” based, you can’t target an individual as that I.P. is shared with multiple people.

Retargeting Should Be A Part Of Marketing Strategy

So should your event be taking advantage of retargeting (read a bit more here) as part of your overall marketing mix? Yes. From registration to exhibit ads, to hotel booking and mobile app downloads, retargeting will help you see a better overall conversion on your ad dollars spent. If you don’t believe me, look at these awesome AdRoll stats:

  • 92% of marketers report retargeting performs equal to or better than search, 91% equal to or better than email, and 92% equal to or better than other display.
  • 71% of marketers spend 10-50% of their entire online ad budget on retargeting; up from 53% in 2013.
  • Social media is the single hottest topic in retargeting—mobile and cross-device retargeting comes in at #2.
  • Retargeting has expanded up the funnel. 70% of marketers use retargeting for brand awareness, 60% for social engagement, and 58% for customer retention.

Want to make those stats work for you? You can, but I’ll preface that your success is only going to be found in the context of your message and creative. According to a recent Google study, 70% of online consumers say quality, relevance and timing of ads impacts brand perception. It’s no different for  B2B audiences. Like any marketing tactic, retargeting has be thought out and match your other efforts. If they don’t you spend a lot of money for a small return. Do you really want to explain an .02% CTA and a CPA three times your average to your boss –– especially if you had data to help make informed choices? I know I don’t.