To date, retargeting has typically been sold to advertisers as part of a package. Networks create an advertising menu for an advertiser that includes the main course — category-based campaigns — then throw in some RON filler and retargeting as a garnish.
Retargeting has reached a level of importance that it should be the main course in these menus. The catch is that advertisers have to give retargeting the attention it deserves, and it’s important to pick the right retargeting provider to do so. How would an advertiser know which partner to choose? Here are five important things to look for:
1. Advanced Customization Capabilities: If you run a paid search program and you only bid on five broad keywords, would your campaign succeed? Not likely. For search to perform, it needs depth and a large keyword list. Retargeting functions similarly; you cannot simply display the same general ads to each visitor you retarget. You need to target consumers based on what they looked at on your site; be as relevant as possible! Basic, generic ads just don’t cut it anymore.
2. Analytics: Reports that show how many consumers clicked your ads, and then how many of those clicks converted is very basic information that doesn’t tell the whole retargeting story. Retargeting analytics should provide in-depth information — like how many days it takes for a consumer to convert, how many ads a consumer needs to see before converting, what ad creative performs best, and how to determine the best frequency cap, to name a few. Advanced analytics are critical to get the most out of retargeting.
3. Dynamic Ad Capability: For retargeting to perform optimally, a large volume of display ads is necessary. The provider should help by generating ads dynamically and having those ads include specific products and/or categories that the consumer browsed while on your site. Without dynamic ad generation, you have two choices. You can spend countless hours creating the volume of ads necessary, or you choose not to take full advantage of retargeting.
4. Scale: In terms of reach, a network that states it reaches 135 million people doesn’t answer the important question “How many of my lost prospects can you retarget?” A large network can reach a decent amount (a good guess for a decent size network is about 10%) of your lost prospects. In order to increase reach you might run retargeting on multiple networks simultaneously. Sounds like a solution, however it’s difficult to manage. Just compiling the reporting from each network is a pain, not to mention the implementation and optimization issues. Most importantly is the waste that occurs by not handling each lost prospect uniquely. A retargeting provider should have a solution that allows you the greatest reach possible, with no additional stress.
5. Strategic Planning: Retargeting campaigns are very different than the efforts that drive new prospects to your site. As such, it’s crucial to have a strategic plan that fits with your other marketing initiatives. Your partner should take your entire online marketing plan into account to optimize your campaign. Are they running A/B tests to optimize your campaign? Are they giving creative suggestions to increase conversions? Retargeting is a crucial part of a Web site’s success, but it must work with your overall strategy.
Retargeting’s performance makes it a must-have for online advertisers; the key is finding the right partner. The best thing an advertiser can do is to ask the right questions and be selective of who work with. This will force retargeting providers to step their game up, and the results will follow!
By: Chad Little, MediaPost