Q&A: Walgreens’ Seth Meisel

In the last of a series of interviews highlighting some of the speakers that will be imparting their wisdom at the final ClickZ Live event of 2014 coming up in Chicago this November, I talked to Seth Meisel from Walgreens, who’ll be taking the stage to talk about a crucial area of digital marketing: retargeting.

Your session at ClickZ Live is entitled “Follow, Reach, Convert: Innovative Retargeting/Remarketing.” How prevalent is remarketing in digital and what compelling arguments are there for marketers to catch up with businesses already doing it?

Most direct-response websites should be looking into or currently employing some form of remarketing or retargeting program. Unlike some forms of marketing, remarketing can generally produce more qualified traffic because you know that a user has at least been to the site before. Other paid channels make it more difficult to differentiate between a new or repeat customer. If a business is reviewing their current paid marketing mix, they’ll want to strongly want to consider making remarketing a part of their marketing channels.

How should marketers think about remarketing within the marketing mix? What other channels and strategies does it integrate well with?

Remarketing/retargeting sometimes gets pigeon-holed as just a lower-funnel retention channel only. But good remarketing campaigns can utilize a combination of remarketing and prospecting tactics and still meet internal success metrics. Retargeting campaigns integrate well with display advertising strategies and can also be used as an acquisition channel. For example, I’ve used the same creative assets for a retargeting campaign that uses both remarketing and prospecting strategies.

Can you explain site personalization and how it differs from the A/B test approach?

In the first part of my session at ClickZ Live Chicago, I’ll be going over how remarketers should be conducting ongoing A/B tests on aspects of the landing pages and the site experience past the initial landing page. Of course, remarketers should also test aspects of their remarketing ads, but it seems like the customer experience after the ad click isn’t tested enough. Are there minor changes that can be employed that would lead to a meaningful conversion rate increase?

The second part of my presentation will go over how we want to start using site personalization with our remarketing traffic. This site personalization can start with the initial landing page, but can extend to product recommendation modules as a customer continues past the landing page. It doesn’t seem like many remarketers are personalizing their remarketing campaigns end-to-end.

Are there any red flags for marketers with regards to privacy of their users/customers in this growing area?

Yes, there are sensitive categories within most websites that carries thousands of products. Advertisers have the responsibility to think through the privacy policy, HIPAA, and legal implications of their whole assortment.

Can you give us three main ideas or “aha moments” delegates will take away from your session at ClickZ Live Chicago?

  • Test the performance of dynamic remarketing vs. static remarketing ads. Dynamic ad creative may require more extensive site tagging, but it may be worth the upside you see in click-through rate (CTR) or conversion rate from having more individually relevant products in your ads.
  • Conduct continuous A/B tests on your remarketing channel traffic for the site experience after a user clicks on a remarketing ad. For example, if all your landing pages are product pages, then conduct multiple tests on what you think might increase conversion rates on those landing pages. For example, we had a “10% off” promo that we wanted to test calling out on the product page.
  • Look into personalizing your remarketing efforts. Personalization ideally should be an end-to end process. If the ad is personalized with products you were previously looking at, then why aren’t more advertisers looking into personalizing the site experience after a customer lands on the site?

Seth Meisel will be speaking at 9:30 a.m. on Thursday, November 6. Get your ticket to ClickZ Live Chicago by registering here!

Image via Shutterstock.

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