The do’s and don’ts of retargeting

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Retargeting is quickly becoming a staple tool in most marketers’ arsenals, but according to experts, there’s a right way to retarget and a wrong way.

Recent research has shown that 64.3 percent of brands are planning on bumping up their retargeting budgets this year, while 54 percent of all marketers are currently retargeting on mobile. But as the popularity of retargeting rises, so do the pitfalls. No one wants to be chased around the Internet by products they don’t want, and bad retargeting could actually cost marketers money. That’s why we’ve rounded up some expert advice to help marketers make the most of their retargeting budget.

Do: Use first-party data

Before you buy third-party data, make sure you’re using your own assets to their best advantage, says Will Aronson, account director at 3Q Digital. 

“As the industry continues to grow, there are more and more ways to take first-party data, like lists of email subscribers, lists of existing customers, data on purchase behavior, and remarket to those customers through your existing channels,” Aronson says.

“Google’s Customer Match is a great example of one of the latest new options for putting a company’s first-party data to use and allowing marketers to directly target specific segments of their customer base using their own data,” he adds. 

Don’t: Discount cookies

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Even as marketers begin to rely more on first-party data, third-party ad technology, such as cookies, isn’t going to become as immediately irrelevant as some might say, according to Craig Teich, executive vice president of sales and business development at Connexity. 

“Retargeting won’t be as effective in a cookieless world,” Teich says. “Even if we are seeing more activity on mobile, marketers should be thinking about how to connect those experiences to go from big screen to small screen.”

Don’t: Rely on just one network

Make sure you’re exploring your options when it comes to partners, and don’t settle in with just one.

“Many marketing teams aren’t fully exploring all remarketing channels. Relying on just one network, like the Google Display Network, is not going to give you full coverage across the web,” Aronson says. “Additional networks like Facebook Exchange, Adroll and YouTube give you new places to get in front of the customers you’re retargeting. Retargeting is efficient and effective, but looking to more than one network ensures you’re maximizing your volume.”

Do: Look beyond the click

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For many marketers, click-through rates are the be-all end-all of retargeting, but Teich argues that clicks account for only a piece of the puzzle.

“It’s pretty antiquated to only look at clicks,” Teich says. “And it severely discounts other aspects of your campaign. Instead, look for a reasonable view through window. Run some studies looking at the impact of the view or the impression on driving people to the site. Maybe they went back to the site, or searched the brand, which should get some credit in the attribution.”

Do: Get creative

Advances in programmatic technology make it possible to test countless segments of an ad incredibly quickly, so there’s no need for brands to “spray and pray” the same creative to every user across every channel.

“Creative needs to keep up with technology to get attention. Dynamic creative is extremely important, especially further down the purchase funnel. We see a 100 percent increase in engagement with creative that customizes the best deals or the best product to relevant users. You absolutely do not want a generic standard,” says Teich.

Do: Get personal

Audiences expect brands to know what they want, according to Julia Stead, director of demand generation for Invoca. 

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“The content and offers we serve should be based specifically on the pages of our site they visited, the products they researched, and what stage they are at in their buying process,” Stead says. “Our prospects expect this kind of personalization. In fact, in a recent survey we found that 20 percent of consumers already expect that the ads they see will be more targeted based on data that is collected during a previous phone conversation.”

Don’t: Be a nuisance

Part of personalization is knowing what customers don’t want. The biggest mistake Stead sees marketers making is harassing customers around the Internet with pictures of products they’ve already purchased.

“We’ve all experienced this as consumers, and it’s painful,” Stead says. “It’s also just lazy marketing. Big advertisers have proven time and again that they can retarget abandoned shopping carts in essentially real-time, so why aren’t they applying the same attention to detail once a purchase is made? It creates a negative brand impression, and misses out on great opportunities for upsells.

Article image via Flickr.

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