Harness sophisticated retargeting to improve marketing outcomes

September 2, 2016 | By

Grab your consumer hat for a second: have you ever seen a display ad for something you just bought or an item that is completely irrelevant to you? I’d bet you absolutely have. What you witnessed was a failure to perform good retargeting by the brand that bought the ad. If that business had taken a more data-driven approach, it would have divined you aren’t currently part of its desired audience and spent its advertising dollars more efficiently, targeting those who are actually likely to convert.

Now put your marketer hat back on. You don’t want your own company’s online marketing efforts to go the same way as those mentioned above, throwing away ad dollars on customers who have already bought the item being advertised, or to people with no potential interest in your brand. This just means you have to find the right tools for the job. The key maybe be a customer data platform (CDP).

How do your customers behave?

Targeting online display ads and other marketing materials is always about putting a message in front of people who are likely to react well (as defined by a conversion or lift in brand perception, for example). A hugely effective way to do this is with customer profiles with the right data to serve as the basis of the targeting. More sophisticated retargeting stems from data collection. Both known and anonymous visitors to your website can teach you a lot with each interaction that you use to inform ad decisions.

Using a CDP, marketers can collect and store data from multiple sources and channels, unifying different types of data to reveal much more potent insights. Now, you can distinguish between a likely infrequent, price-sensitive shopper and a high-value repeat consumer who is likely to make a purchase soon.

Instead of breaking down your customer base by big-picture, generic criteria, you should get granular. Some customers are long-time visitors and shouldn’t be treated as if they don’t know about the company.  Others who almost completed a goal, such as a sign-up or an order, should be prompted to return where they left off.

Benefits of improved retargeting

What can you do with the new segments you’ve created based on your data? There are a few immediate improvements that can come with more precise customer profiles:

  • Better third-party advertising:

    Your online marketing partners could drastically improve their performance with the new insights you have unlocked. You not only know what a website visitor’s online activities look like, but also when you’ve isolated a high-value lead. Pass that information on to ad partners, and your ads can reach the people who are most likely to respond. For example, multi-brand publisher WPG uses the proprietary data BlueConic collects about its visitors to reduce its reliance on 3rd party data vendors and to strengthen its position with media agencies due to nearly doubled click-through rates on ads.

  • Improved engagement:

    All your retargeting measures, including reminder messages on your sites, should be based on the data you have about your customers and prospects. Reaching out with relevant offers and messages at the right moment is the lynchpin of good customer targeting and should drive better conversion numbers and improved engagement between your brand and the audience. A ecommerce retailer uses the Facebook server-to-server connection to pass customer profiles in real time from BlueConic over to Facebook to retarget the right people with messages relevant to them.

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