Improve Online Advertising Performance with RetargetingBy Ed Weiner, CEO Hudson Media Services
Whether it’s display, mobile or social, advertisers now want digital media included in the plan. But everyone’s results with digital media haven’t been created equal. That’s especially true for banner ads. According to DoubleClick research, click thru rates for banner ads average between 0.10% and 0.30%. Low average click thru rates are not a reason to give up on digital media. In order to achieve desirable return on investment, you may want to consider a change in strategy. One avenue with great potential upside is through retargeting. Since online shoppers aren’t always ready to buy the first time they see your product or service, retargeting can help close the gap between consumers finding your website and their eventual purchase. Consumers typically research a product (maybe comparison shop, too) before buying it. Obviously, you don’t want prospects to leave your site without a purchase. Retargeting can help you keep them inside your company’s sales funnel by taking advantage of the more refined and precise possibilities that digital marketing creates. Retargeting anonymously observes consumer behavior while they visit your website. First, retargeting tags online users who visit your website. Then, while they surf other sites, those visitors are served additional banner ads for your product or service. The real beauty of retargeting is in the laser-focused messaging to consumers who have already visited your website. Their engagement with your site presents you with additional opportunities to serve them with increasingly more relevant offers or reminders of their intent to purchase. Precisely targeted messages are served to visitors after they leave, based on whether or not they’ve made a purchase or completed a desired action (filled out a form or registered for future emails, etc.). There is no waste with this strategy since ads are served only to users who have already demonstrated a level of engagement with your site already. They have shown an interest in the product and intent to purchase. What’s more, retargeting increases cost efficiency by specifically targeting an interested audience. In our experience, retargeting invariably improves overall ROI, too. There are many ways to retarget effectively. In our experience, the most effective retargeting strategies segments and tags users by:
- Their recent search activity
- Re-engaging users who’ve already clicked on your ad
- Learning where users go after they view your ad
- Focusing on repeat visitors to your site
Here are three re-targeting examples from a recent search for golf drivers and fairway woods: Golfsmith featuring Callaway Woods, YAHOO SPORTS Golfsmith, $20 Off Golfsmith, Callaway Driver, FACEBOOK Here are our thoughts on “best practices” for retargeting:
- Retargeting should be deployed with a supplemental traffic-driving online media buy to bring more potential customers into the sales funnel. Retargeting those prospects can be the perfect complement to CPM campaigns because it facilitates their conversion from “merely interested” to actual customers.
- Use ad networks with enough traffic and site diversity to reach your consumer almost anywhere. The broader the reach of the network, the faster you’ll hit your target again. This is critical if your product or service has a short window of opportunity.
- Serve specifically tailored messages that give you more opportunities to persuade potential customers to return.
- Remember that many durable goods that require major investments (think cars, electronics, and appliances) have a 3-4 week purchase cycle. It is felt that you should not stop serving ads after a day or two but rather continue to customize your digital creative based on where they spent time on your site. Tailor your retargeting flight to typical purchase cycles.
- Be persistent. Even on the largest networks, you’ll need to ensure that your message finds its way back to your target consumer in time. You can turn off the re-targeting messaging when a consumer makes a purchase on your site or set a time limit for retargeting ads.
Before you give up on your online advertising because of lackluster results, explore retargeting. It’s a great way to efficiently capitalize on every visitor to your website. Retargeting provides a strong and successful conclusion by converting browsers into buyers, buyers into repeat buyers and repeat buyers into long term customers. Ed Weiner, owner and CEO of Hudson Media Services, has been directing advertising media plans and buys for more than 35 years. During that time, Ed has provided the leadership for over 250 category leaders, challenger brands and start-ups. An alumnus of some of the most respected ad agencies and media services, Ed started Hudson Media in 2009 to offer advertisers an alternative approach to managing the media process. Ed can be reached at (212) 448-9741 or firstname.lastname@example.org