Retargeting Isn't Dead . . . But Your Approach Might Be

Retargeting Isn't Dead But Your Approach Might Be

Retargeting is a necessary strategy for individualized marketing. Most retargeting tactics come in the form of online advertisements, but limiting yourself to these methods excludes a significant portion of your audience. We’ve shared methods for taking retargeting offline, and we strongly believe there’s a time and place to use digital display retargeting or an offline retargeting method like direct mail. Taking a more holistic approach to retargeting will help you to successfully reach all potential customers, enhancing the customer experience and enabling you to increase your revenues.

Who’s Not Seeing Your Retargeting?

One of the major fallacies in retargeting is the assumption that, by simply attempting to retarget, you’ll reach everyone you intend to reach. Retargeting has grown significantly over the years. It wasn’t so long ago that the idea of seeing an ad for a product or business you viewed last night on an unrelated site seemed like a great idea. Today, such an approach is often viewed as intrusive and awkward.

Many marketers have taken advantage of the advanced retargeting tactics available to them. Sites like Google and Facebook are continually evolving their retargeting algorithms and features to enable marketers to customize their approach, zeroing in on individuals with specific demographics or browsing histories or location. While this modern approach is a better idea than the banner-based retargeting we’ve come to begrudgingly tolerate, it falls short of its display ad predecessor in one major area.

People Who Don’t Use Sites Like Facebook or Google

Although Google is the world’s most popular search engine, and most people use Google products like Chrome and Google Maps, 13 percent of the United States population doesn’t use the internet. Along the same lines, privacy concerns keep plenty of people off Facebook and other social media platforms, which often seem all too eager to sell the privacy of their members to make a quick buck.

What this means is that retargeting via these sites might seem like a smart move, but it will backfire if your audience doesn’t use the mediums you’re using for retargeting. If people aren’t on the sites you’re retargeting to or even on the internet, you can’t reach them with your marketing.

People Using Multiple Devices

One of the best things about marketing in modern times is that you can reach people virtually everywhere. Whether it’s via desktop, mobile, email or social media, you’ll almost always be able to find your audience online.

The problem is tracking those same individuals you’re trying to retarget across the various devices they use. Someone may perform a Google search on their phone, which would normally be a perfect time for a retargeting ad to appear. However, if they haven’t synced their phone with their Google Account, there’s no way to link that person’s online credentials between their home computer and their phone. The same goes for Facebook ads, banner ads or any other type of digital retargeting aside from email.

It’s a difficult dilemma for marketers. How much emphasis do you put on these digital means of retargeting if it all depends on whether someone is signed in?

People Who Block Ads

Another way the internet has evolved is the advent of ad blockers, which disable ads before they load so they’re never seen by viewers. Modern websites have become deluged with ads, many of which are excessively intrusive and cause pages to take longer to load; some ads even contain malware that can infect a user’s computer. An ad blocker is perhaps a consumer’s best defense against bad advertising.

However, this technology comes at a price. Not only do ad blockers prevent the obnoxious ads from getting through, they also stop the important ads – the ones people want to see. Retargeting ads are at the top of this list. Again, retargeting is only as good as the ability of a business to get their retargeting ads in front of the people. Ad blockers place a major obstacle in the way of any company that attempts to use retargeting, particularly when it comes to banner ads.

Three Mistakes Holding You Back

Retargeting is still an effective practice for all marketers. Anytime a consumer shows a level of interest in your products, it’s in your best interest to go the extra mile to complete the sale. That said, it’s critical that you avoid these mistakes as you retarget prospective customers.

Not Using Retargeting at All

The drawbacks of retargeting shouldn’t deter you from making it a piece of your overall marketing strategy. However, retargeting is a proven marketing tactic that generally has a positive return on your investment. Instead of avoiding retargeting entirely, focus on skipping the less effective types of retargeting – the methods that don’t increase your revenues or bring about brand awareness. Instead, hone in on those tactics that do work and make those the cornerstones of your retargeting efforts.

Not Segmenting Your Audience

Perhaps the biggest reason why banner ad retargeting is so ineffective is that it’s so impersonal. It’s just a picture of a product you looked at a few days ago, only it’s now showing up on some other site that has nothing to do with the product in question. Instead of reminding an interested consumer to come back to the site – as retargeting is supposed to do – the static banner ad simply reinforces the idea that this company doesn’t know or care about you at all as an individual.

Segmenting your audience makes a ton of sense in all marketing activities, including retargeting. Although not every member of your audience has Facebook, you should know enough about your customer base to tell that certain segments might respond well to Facebook sponsored ads. The same is true for Google ads, banner ads or any other retargeting medium. Getting your ad seen is only half the battle. Putting it in the right place is the real key to retargeting.

Limiting Yourself to Online Retargeting

Most people have seen so many examples of online retargeting that they think of retargeting as a digital-only proposition. That’s understandable, but it’s also not accurate. The truth is, retargeting can take place in any medium, as long as it comes from a data-driven perspective and serves its intended purpose. Thinking only in digital terms can hold back your creativity and effectiveness as a marketer.

Retargeting is not exclusive to online marketing, and it might be even more effective when taken offline. Using programmatic postcards sends timely reminders to people who have shown interest in your products, and it does so through the traditional mail, which has a significantly higher response rate than anything in the digital realm. It’s a unique way to retarget, one that hasn’t been overused, and it just may be the tool you need to give your business an edge against the competition.

Build Relationships with Retargeting

Contrary to popular belief, retargeting doesn’t have to be limited to traditional online activities. In fact, thinking outside the box and embracing new ways to retarget may be the very best thing for your retargeting strategy. As the browsing habits of consumers continue to change, making sure people can actually see your ads is vital. More importantly, those ads need to be executed in a way to encourage viewers to take immediate action. Considering all options when approaching retargeting will help you to stay ahead of the trends, giving you the best possible chance at building relationships with interested customers.

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