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 and is only about serving online or offline ads to potential customers based on cookies. Remarketing, on the other hand, works by gathering information on visitors or users, and compartmentalizing them into lists, which can be used to send either Sales or marketing emails. A good example would be to send a followup email or SMS to someone who has abandoned the shopping cart.
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.
Observe your customer base carefully and continuously to identify individuals most likely to respond.
Carefully crafted: Develop the message carefully, articulate the offer clearly, improve the tone to tug at the heart strings, evoke an instant positive response.
Measured in impact: Carpet bombing vs surgical strikes? What to choose? Carpet bombing messages –aka SPAM– will invariably reduce the size of the receptive audience, but effective messaging will have the base wanting for more.
Deftly executed: Time 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, then why is it, that we, the consumers, are bombarded with unwanted spam and irrelevant offers and untimely interruptions that drain our time, irritate us and evoke a “leave me alone” response?
Being methodical is against human nature. Our impulse to react rather than respond is the problem. Everyone is rushing to declare victory and share the glory, strategy needs thinking, considering the various options, weighing the consequences and choosing the most effective one. Progress actually happens in the quiet period, when the action is absent.
Planning needs collection of historical data, dispassionate evaluation of what worked and what didn’t, painting various scenarios for the future, estimating the resources needed.
We know the importance but it’s eclipsed by the urgency of delivery, tactics are paid attention to but not the 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. But then isn’t it said that the best way to predict future is to invent it?
Retargeting is a scientific approach to understanding your customer base at the atomic level and using the knowledge acquired from the customer interactions to individualize the engagement with each customer.
Individualization needs you to understand, appreciate and empathize with the customer’s situation and recommend the appropriate product or solution to address the expressed wants and needs. Today’s wants will be tomorrow’s needs. Customers’ expectations are never static.
Data gathering: Start with gathering the 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. Appreciating the preferences, choices, tastes to 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. I know you like blue but all I sell is black increases 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. Empathizing with the customer to the gaps in the desired outcome vs the delivered outcome. Satisfying the visceral response to the latent or expressed needs and wants of a customer.
Benefits of remarketing
Focused marketing: Your remarketing lists can be used 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: With remarketing strategy, you can create high-performance campaigns with automated bidding.
Campaign analytics: You can see how your campaigns are performing, where your ads are being displayed, and the price of every ad.
Search: Placing Google or Bing ads. These are then displayed at the top of the search engine results when someone keys in specific search terms.
Video: Very effective these days of increasing video use online. Your ads are shown on YouTube or on Google to traffic that has 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.