For the first time ever, consumers planned to do more of their holiday shopping online than in-store, according to recent research. Retailers had to be ready! Post-holiday they must understand how to use digital marketing to drive conversions and deepen their connection with customers. One of the most effective tactics for doing so is retargeting. Retargeted users consistently outperform new users when it comes to engagement, purchases and retention. In fact, retargeted users have a 152 percent higher engagement rate than those targeted via new-user acquisition campaigns over a 30-day period.
That said, not all retargeting is created equal. By taking a more sophisticated and strategic approach, retailers can derive even more value from their marketing spend, post-holidays and throughout the year. Here are six ways how:
1. Remember that brand safety is key.
Brand safety is one of the biggest challenges of programmatic buying. The key to avoiding advertising placement fails is by using a multilayered security approach. A Google Safe Browsing integration and an offensive content layer will keep the content in line with your brand’s marketplace position. Another important thing to consider is carefully choosing websites on which your message will be placed. Keep in mind that some categories might be at odds with brand image and company policies by default. Caring about your brands and where their ads appear online is a healthy first step.
2. Don’t “set it and forget it.”
Plan to constantly test, compare and optimize your retargeting campaigns. Traditionally, marketers create segmentation strategies around lower-funnel user behaviors. However, segmentation can also be based on user behavior, product category preference, previous shopping history, internal user scoring of the retailer, and volume of offers viewed. You can also create custom segmentations for your unique vertical.
The right retargeting partner will be able to bolster your first-party data with its own rich datasets, allowing you to get an even fuller picture of your audience and to segment and target more effectively.
3. Reconsider your attribution model.
Post-click attribution, in which a conversion is entirely attributed to the last marketing message a consumer clicks before taking action, oversimplifies the path to purchase. Multiple sources often contribute to a user’s buying journey.
Retailers should try to create more comprehensive attribution models so they can get a more accurate idea of what's working and what's not, and then allocate their budgets more efficiently.
4. Don’t limit yourself to one partner.
Retailers should consider the specific goals of their retargeting campaigns and then secure the necessary partners to best meet those goals. There's no need to stick with just one technology solution.
Marketers are sometimes afraid to use multiple vendors because of the perceived cannibalization effect. In reality, individual retargeting companies generally use different technologies and inventory. You won’t be reaching more of the same users, you'll be reaching more users. Furthermore, competition is a good thing. You'll be able to compare results and share them with the different vendors you're working with to pressure all of your partners to work harder for you brand.
5. Don’t overlook mobile.
This past holiday shopping season, mobile visits surpassed desktop for the first time. Online shoppers are spending more, too. People are getting increasingly comfortable making purchases from their mobile devices. You must consider cross-device retargeting campaigns, and be sure to test your ads across devices.
6. Use sophisticated frequency capping technology.
Retargeting isn't about blanketing users with banner ads. Devise a strategy for limiting the number of impressions you serve users. That way, you don’t turn people off and waste your marketing budget. The right marketing partner should be able to help you limit the volume of impressions while preserving results. For example, if you're going to cap the number of ads you serve, use data and technology to ensure you serve the ones that are most likely to convert — i.e., the ad placements that historically have the highest clickthrough rates.
Shoppers are spending more time, and money, online than ever before. Retailers have to be ready. A well-thought-out retargeting strategy built on technology will help you drive more purchases and collect valuable data that will inform your marketing year-round.
Radoslaw Dobrolecki is business development director, USA, RTB House, a global company that provides state-of-the-art retargeting technology.