In a recent survey, RAPP UK and InSkin Media highlighted the potential drawbacks of retargeting and its impact on people’s attitudes towards a brand, revealing 55% users were deterred by retargeted ads. However, based on my previous experience with both the travel and retail industries (who pioneered this model), retargeting campaigns can drive successfully higher conversions and increased ROI. With the rise of programmatic buying technologies we see higher quality, variety and relevancy of retargeted message served to customers in real-time, so what are the key factors that marketers should be aware of in order to deliver a successful, sustainable retargeting strategy?
Excessive ad frequency will leave people feeling annoyed or angry at your brand.
Use a Test & Learn strategy to define the maximum ad frequency for each of your target audiences. By deploying A/B tests for different frequency caps and analysing CTR and Conversion in real-time marketers are more likely to identify gaps and optimise on the go.
In the absence of this testing, the study suggests capping your ad frequency at 3.
Tread carefully with incorporating sensitive information such as the customer’s income and location.
Personalisation can be tricky when it comes to sensitive information. The use of a user’s name or personal details in a display ad will not be as well received as their use in a personalised email. Brands should always be transparent and seek permission for the use of people’s data.
A good rule of thumb is to ask yourself if your messaging feels ‘creepy’. Starting the conversation with a question can be a great way to avoid that e.g. Still looking for the best car insurance?
The context in which a retargeted ad is shown to a person needs to be relevant to the ads content
According to the study, ads served on sites unrelated to the product or service being advertised are over 11 times more likely to discourage than encourage purchase.
Media side, this means having better control and visibility on the site & the content where your ads appears. Creative side, the content in the ad also needs to be relevant to the person’s need state at that point in the path-to-purchase.
Continually retargeting someone with a product they just bought would quickly become annoying and reflect badly on the brand. On the other hand, promoting a customer service message post-purchase to the user is likely to build brand advocacy.
Consider the right mix of retargeting techniques in your strategy
There are multiple ways toretarget. Picking the right mix given your objectives, budget and the customer’s point in the path to purchase is crucial. Think about the following techniques:
Site retargeting: Based on visits to your website – the most commonly used but least effective
Search retargeting: retargeting messages relevant to search keywords used
Email retargeting: retargeting based how customers interact with your emails
CRM retargeting: retargeting existing customers who have not interacted with your emails, but are browsing online
Social retargeting: retargeting through custom audiences on Facebook, YouTube or Twitter
In this context, it is the role of agencies to always partner with their clients to define an audience-centric strategy that utilises retargeting technologies to the benefit rather than the annoyance of their customers. By creating messages that strategically story-tell rather than harass customers not only will your campaign be more effective, but your overall brand advocacy will also be improved.
Source: Familiarity, Frequency and Fine Lines – InSkin Media & RAPP