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Remarketing: Strategically Targeting Your Customers


What is remarketing? Remarketing is how you connect with people who have earlier interacted with your Site or mobile app. Although the word is used interchangeably with retargeting, both denote different plans of action. Retargeting is a sub-discipline of remarketing that uses cookies for existing campaigns to better target potential customers. Remarketing, on the other hand, works by gathering information of all visitors or users to inform the creation of new campaigns. A good example would be sending a follow-up email or SMS to someone who has abandoned their cart on your site.

Prospecting is like throwing darts at the dartboard, but remarketing is launching a guided missile — precise, monitored and assured in its outcome. Remarketing should be strategic, carefully crafted, measured in its impact, deftly executed, and assured in the result.

Let’s define what we mean for each of those points:

Strategic targeting: You should audit your customer base often and thoroughly to identify key demographics and target them.

Carefully crafted: It’s important to develop the message carefully, articulate the offer clearly, improve tone to tug at the heartstrings, evoke an instant positive response.

Measured in impact: Carpet bombing vs surgical strikes? What to choose? Carpet bombing the customer with messages –aka SPAM– will invariably reduce the size of the receptive audience, but effective messaging will have the base hungering for more.

Deftly executed: Coordinate for the highest response on delivery, optimize the channel selection, fit the visual to the device form factor, personalize at the moment of delivery.

Assured results: Enjoy the resulting improvement in outcomes that will invariably come. This is the promise of retargeting. You already have a customer base, you know their buying behavior, glean their preferences, understand their price sensitivity, know their delivery addresses, use it to maximize outcomes.

Simple, isn’t it? So then why are consumers bombarded with unwanted spam, irrelevant offers, and untimely interruptions that drain our time, irritate us and evoke a “leave me alone” response?

Root Cause

Humans aren’t naturally methodical; our impulse is to react rather than craft a measured response. Everyone is in a hurry to declare victory and share the glory, but strategy requires deeper thinking. You need to consider the various options, weighing the consequences, and choose the most effective solution. Progress actually happens in the quiet absence of action.

Planning needs a collection of historical data, dispassionate evaluation of what worked and what didn’t, hypothesizing various scenarios for the future, estimating the resources needed… simply put, the first step of marketing strategy is a full flight of stairs in itself!

Eclipsed by the urgency of delivery, we get tunnel vision on tactics at the cost of a long-term strategy.

We continue to blast messages, but don’t invest in the technology to collect, cleanse, and update our database of customers because the outcome is too far out in the future.

Herein lies the value of retargeting. Retargeting is a scientific approach to customer analysis. You start by understanding your customer base at the atomic level, then apply the knowledge acquired from customer interactions to individualize the engagement with each customer.

Individualization requires investment. When you make an effort to understand and appreciate the customer’s situation, you can better recommend appropriate products to address their wants and needs. Today’s wants will be tomorrow’s needs. Customers are perennially discontent. Their expectations are never static — they always want more. It’s human nature.

How Do We Improve The Situation?

Data gathering: Start with gathering customer data. Store it forever. Sift through it to connect the dots, amplify the signals and attenuate the noise.

Decisioning: Understanding the desires and aspirations through the customer’s browsing, queries, price and availability probes, seasonal buying, and anything else you can get your hands on. Learn to appreciate how preferences, choices, tastes evoke an emotional response.

Design: Articulating the available choices and recommending the most relevant and contextual product or solution. Embedding the customer choices in your messaging. This is important, reduce the knowing-doing gap. Statements like ‘I know you like blue but all I sell is black’ increase friction.

Distribution: Using the channel and device that the customer uses, reaching them when they are paying attention, using multiple channels to communicate with your base, observing the response, and optimizing the channel allocation.

Performance analytics: Understand what works and what doesn’t. When you can empathize with the customer, you can close the gap in the desired outcome vs results. Build a culture of visceral response to the latent or expressed needs and wants of a customer.

Benefits of remarketing

The benefits of remarketing fall into four major categories:

Focused marketing: One of the biggest value-added features of remarking is the ability to target specific segments. For example, use a list to send out an offer for those who have visited your website and clicked on “treadmills” during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reach in large numbers: With remarketing, you can reach people not only across devices but over websites and mobile apps.

Structured pricing: Pricing is often a patchwork of new policy layered on top of the old policy. Remarketing helps fix the places where the schedule is threadbare.

Campaign analytics:  You can evaluate campaign performance. You can also see where your ads are displayed and how much revenue they are generating.

Different Types of Remarketing?

There are many different types of remarketing, depending on how you allocation advertising spend.

Search: The first method is to place Google or Bing ads. These ads appear at the top of search results when potential customers search for relevant keywords.

Video: Very effective these days of increasing video use online. Your ads show up on YouTube or Google to users who have already visited your site.

Social media: You can use your social media channels like LinkedIn or Facebook to display ads to people who have visited your website while they browse their social media channels.

In conclusion:  There’s no need to choose between remarketing and retargeting; you may use both. If done right, they have a positive RoI and will keep your brand top of mind with customers.

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