New “Retargeting Playbook” Arms Marketers With Best Practices

The Retargeting PlaybookNew to retargeting, or simply want to learn all you need to know the right way to bring potential customers back to your site and close that sale?

Out today, The Retargeting Playbook covers strategies from basic to advanced, gives tips on how to set up retargeting campaigns, and shares best practices and case studies.

The book’s trio of authors, Adam Berke, Greg Fulton, and Lauren Vaccarello, all work for retargeting and display advertising platform AdRoll.

This is the second book credit for Vaccarello, AdRoll’s vice president of marketing, who was also part of the team that wrote Complete B2B Online Marketing. She has worked in online marketing since the early 2000s, previously running online marketing at

Vaccarello (@LaurenV) also has spoken at a variety of marketing and advertising industry events on marketing issues and best practices. She will be delivering a pre-keynote speech giving an overview of today’s digital media landscape at ClickZ Live New York April 1 at 8 a.m.

I recently chatted with Vaccarello about The Retargeting Playbook, as well as what ClickZ Live New York attendees can expect from her keynote next week.

Danny Goodwin: Your second book, The Retargeting Playbook, just came out today and it is truly a fantastic read. Why did you write this book? Where did the idea come from? And who is the book geared toward?

Lauren VaccarelloLauren Vaccarello: I love retargeting. It sounds cliche, but I really do. I’ve seen it work time and time again and I geek out on performance marketing. After I wrote Complete B2B Online Marketing, I swore I would never write another book. It was so much work.

Then, during my first week at AdRoll, Adam Berke asked me what I thought about writing a book on retargeting. Despite my previous hesitance around writing another book, it was an instant yes for me.

While many marketers have started using retargeting, there’s a lack of definitive best practices or a complete guide to how to retarget properly. We wrote this book to help solve that problem and ultimately make digital marketers at businesses and agencies of all sizes more successful. Maybe I’m being idealistic here, but I believe this book can really help businesses grow.

DG: We’re constantly hearing that retargeting is essential. In a nutshell, what is retargeting and why is it essential?

LV: Retargeting is an online advertising technique that selectively targets people who have already visited a site, bringing them back for a repeat visit that builds up to a purchase or conversion.

It works by placing a snippet of code called a “pixel” on your site, which helps you to determine visitors who have shown an active interest in your company or products. You can then use that information to serve highly relevant ads wherever your visitors go online.

Retargeting is an advertiser’s best tactic because, simply put, it works. Relevant ads lead to more purchases because they’re a more personalized experience that hits the right user with the right products, and products that they’ve already shown an interest in.

At AdRoll, our 10,000-plus customers come from more than 100 countries and every single vertical – so we know that it’s a strategy that speaks to a variety of different use cases.

DG: Some of the big concerns we see from readers about retargeting or real-time bidding is that they perceive it as too time-consuming or expensive. And there is always the measurement/ROI question. So how does a business or retailer know if retargeting is right for them?

LV: The beauty of retargeting is that there are platforms out there (like AdRoll) that take the guesswork out of real-time bidding for marketers. Whether you have a dedicated account strategist or are a smaller-budget client using the self-service platform, there’s always a way for you to learn more about how the technology works and how you can optimize your campaigns.

Retargeting is beneficial for businesses, no matter what size they are, because it helps to bring back customers. While larger companies get to benefit from robust marketing programs that include events and PR, the smaller and mid-market brands don’t have resources for everything – but they do have the opportunity to figure out their online marketing strategy, including retargeting.

DG: One word I constantly see associated with retargeting is “creepy.” Privacy is always a big issue these days, and you devote an entire chapter to privacy in your book. What can advertisers do to ease people’s fears and ensure transparency?

LV: There’s definitely an art to retargeting, and we see the best results when retargeting strategies focus on where the consumer is in the purchase funnel so that the ads they see aren’t just relevant, they’re useful.

We believe that it’s bad marketing to serve ads to people who aren’t in the market or actively dislike seeing your ads. Marketers and technology companies are actually well-aligned with consumers in this respect. Giving users control over the ads they see allows for more effective campaigns.

When planning retargeting campaigns, marketers should be thinking beyond the purchase – they should also be focused on building a long-term relationship with the customer.

DG: What is the biggest thing you hope people will take away from your book?

LV: I’d like marketers, no matter what size their budget is, to feel empowered to get started with retargeting after reading this book.

DG: At ClickZ Live New York, I see you’re going to provide attendees an overview of today’s digital media landscape. Seems like a very broad topic! What will you be teaching attendees in this session?

LV: Great question! It’s going to be a jam-packed session that starts off on the more beginner side and then touches upon some interesting trends in the industry. I’ll kick it off by discussing why digital matters. Then transition into the 101’s of everything from search to social to retargeting. I’ll wrap it up by discussing some developments in the industry like the consolidation to marketing clouds. It should be a fun one.

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