Why retargeting is crucial to marketing

Want to deliver different sales messages to different browser segments? Targeting each segment with tailored ads, means each potential customer is getting the right message to drive them to your website, creating a better ROI and a more relevant brand engagement.
Welcome to the world of retargeting – a crucial part of the online marketing mix. It is cost-effective, as it allows you to differentiate between types of prospects as you show your display ads across the Web. The technology allows you to identify new prospects who have not visited your website before, browsers who are ‘warm leads’ who have visited before, and then to split those warm leads down by the pages or products they viewed. It is also possible to identify how long ago they visited you.
Once identified, retargeting allows you to reintroduce your sales message to those potential customers who have expressed an interest in your brand by visiting your website. Retargeted ads are then served to these warm prospects, to entice them back to your site and encourage them to complete the transaction process.
This message tailoring can then be taken a step further with personalised retargeting, which identifies specific products that consumers have viewed on your site and serves them ads wherever they are across the Web that relate directly to those products.
The last thing a brand wants to do is to alienate a customer who has already engaged with them by treating them as an unknown browser. To combat this, ‘negative retargeting’ can be applied to prevent you from inadvertently approaching current customers as new targets, which might make them feel as if you are not paying attention to their preferences.
Thanks to advances in data collection and the technology used to implement such practices, marketers now have a larger number of targeting and retargeting tools at their disposal to ensure the messages they deliver to prospects are relevant, timely and work to increase ROI.
There has, however, been some public concern over the development of these new technologies and the amount of information companies are apparently holding on individual customers. Therefore it is important that brands consider carefully how best to use these techniques and the pooled intelligence they can give us, test different levels of apparent relevancy so that they ensure advertising is not seen as too intrusive, and so that prospects are converted to customers and not put off completely.
That said, marketers can reap great rewards from retargeting if they use it intelligently to enhance the customer experience. If the balance is right, the benefits for both brands and their customers can be considerable.

Andrew Burgess is managing director of Equi=Media

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