Stop wasting money by retargeting the wrong user

Connections|3 Minute Read

Stop wasting money by retargeting the wrong user

According to a December 2014 retargeting report AdRoll, 24% of the marketing departments within large companies (1,000+ employees) have committed 50% of their digital ad budgets to retargeting. It’s a staggering number, and based on a lot of conversations that I have had with marketers, I suspect a big chunk of that budget is wasted.

A case in point of retargeting gone wrong is an experience I had recently with a popular chat service, HipChat.

Here at BlueConic we love HipChat. It’s a great tool and the companion mobile app is awesome. We use it to keep in touch with our colleagues overseas and share stupid videos for a collective laugh. We’re big fans.

A few weeks ago, I had to shut down the desktop app and relaunch because I’d forgotten my password and went to to set a new one.  I noticed that they have a slew of tags on their site, including one specifically for retargeting.

I didn’t think much of it.  I set up a new password, closed the site, opened the client-side app and logged back in.

Thirty minutes later, I was retargeted on Yahoo with an ad to sign up and get HipChat for free(!!). Meanwhile, I had the app running and had an active message waiting for me. See screen shot below.

HipChat retargeting

This bugged me on a couple of levels. I was just on the site and only went to the password recovery page, so why am I getting an ad to sign up? And secondly, how much money is HipChat needlessly wasting on ads for existing users? As noted from the AdRoll report, this number could be pretty significant.

The good news is that Atlassian can stop wasting these retargeting dollars on an existing customer. A simple solution is to build an individual user profile that tracks different levels of engagement. If a user successfully completes the password recovery page, for example, they should not be retargeted. If the user has an active session of an app on their desktop, they should not be retargeted. If a user has an email address on file and regularly gets HipChat messages and responds to them, they should not be retargeted.

I suspect that the good folks at Atlassian just stuck the tag on the page and connected it with their retargeting vendor, hoping for good outcomes.  Instead, had they simply created a user profile, and leveraged the profile against onsite activity (and in app activity) they would have figured out that I am an existing user and wouldn’t have wasted their impression $$$ on me.

It all starts with knowing the individual to drive better outcomes. Invest in data collection and verify that you can build individual profiles and ensure that you can build these individual profiles across all channels. And in the end, make sure your marketing stack communicates with your advertising stack.  If you need some help, or want some guidance, reach out and we’ll walk you through a few scenarios that our customers have used to improve their outcomes.

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