How Programmatic Site Retargeting Can Give Marketing Automation a Superboost

Everyone loves marketing automation: It’s a powerful tool that captures key data that allows you to nurture leads via targeted emails and squeeze them all the way through the funnel to the point of sale. In terms of simplifying a labor-intensive process, it’s like getting a tractor after years of sowing your fields with your bare hands.

But what if you could give that tractor a super-sized engine and tons of tricked out accessories? A practice known as Programmatic Site Retargeting (PSR) can help you do that. Forms are a great source of data, and emails are a great way to reach people, but there’s so much more at direct marketers’ disposal.


So what exactly is PSR? It’s a more advanced version of Site Retargeting that allows brands to show display ads to their most valuable site visitors in hopes of getting them to convert.

So, for example, if the Jacksonville Jaguars were hoping to sell tickets and fill their stadium during another dismal and depressing season, PSR would allow them to target visitors who ventured to the schedule page of the website, spends 10 minutes scouring the stats page, and then visits ticket page without converting. This type of user is far more likely to actually buy tickets than someone who arrives after clicking on a link for a cheerleader slideshow and promptly leaves, and PSR would allow the Jags to target those high-value visitors with ads for tickets (and free beer!) as they browse the web.

If you are still unclear about the benefits of PSR, here’s another example featuring JC Penney.

Once you dive a little deeper, you’ll notice that PSR is actually akin to marketing automation in many ways. Just like marketing automation campaigns, PSR starts by scoring each user or lead based on a data set like the site pages they visited and time spent on those pages, as in the above example of that poor Jags fan.

In marketing automation, you get that data from forms; with PSR, you get that data from site analytics, as well as readily available (and inexpensive) third-party data.

PSR crunches all that data and creates a score that determines how much to bid to serve an impression for that user via an ad exchange, allowing marketers to target leads on the cheap.

The big advantage? With PSR, you don’t have to rely on leads to fill out those forms, putting the power back in your hands. And those highly-targeted display ads can deliver the same message as your emails.

PSR can also work in concert with marketing automation. Imagine that you’re a company selling enterprise cloud-computing solutions. Even when a lead fills out a form, you’re working with pretty limited information — sometimes just a name and an email address. PSR would allow you to know much more about that lead: What resource pages on your site did they visit? What site did they arrive from (perhaps that of a competitor)? You can use that data to serve that lead a highly-targeted message, via a display ad on one of their favorite sites. Better yet, you’ll get instant feedback on how that user is responding to the creative, allowing you to adjust your campaign in real-time.

The rise of marketing automation was a happy day for direct marketers; add PSR into the mix and it’s like Christmas.

Speaking of Christmas, PSR can also be a huge weapon for retailers this holiday season. But that’s a topic for another time.

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