There's a good chance you've heard of retargeting before-it's the practice of showing display ads to users who have visited your site in the hope of luring them back for conversions. If you've ever shopped on Amazon or Zappos, there's a good chance you've experienced retargeting firsthand.
In the past few years, retargeting has quickly evolved past this basic type of Site Retargeting; if basic Site Retargeting was the Model T, then the most cutting-edge retargeting techniques are Jaguars, and they can get your display campaign ahead of the pack in a hurry.
1) Programmatic Site Retargeting: Luring Back Valuable Visitors
Programmatic Site Retargeting (PSR) is a more sophisticated form of Site Retargeting. You see, the problem with basic Site Retargeting is that it doesn't do a great job of differentiating the various people who visit your site. For electronics retailer, for example, someone who spends a half hour on your site looking at $1,000 flat screen TVs is much more valuable than someone who only looked at your jobs page.
PSR makes use of far more data than traditional Site Retargeting. At my company, Chango, we use PSR to assign a score to each anonymous visitor based on how likely they are to convert (and how valuable that conversion will be). We then use these scores to determine how high a brand should bid to serve a display ad to that user in a real-time auction for display impressions. Since we know the hidden value of that user, we know to bid more as a result.
In other words, PSR makes it possible to target your most valuable visitors, serving them display ads that speak directly to their interests. (For example, the electronics retailer above would know to target a TV shopper with a "5% off" coupon on flat screens.) With PSR, your display campaign will start generating conversions at a much faster rate.
2) Search Retargeting: The Power of Intent at a Fraction of the Cost of Search Ads
Search ads have long been one of the most effective forms of online advertising; just look at Google, which made search ads the foundation of its empire. Search ads work so well because they leverage the power of intent: when someone Googles "Auto Insurance Rates," there's a good chance that person wants to buy auto insurance. As a result, insurance companies will pay upwards of $70 per click to serve ads against "auto insurance" searches.
There's little doubt that the search engine market is oversaturated, and brands are overpaying to get a piece of the power of intent. Luckily, there's now a new practice called Search Retargeting that allows brands to serve users with display ads based on the searches they perform on search engines like Yahoo!, Bing and Google. This allows brands to leverage the power of intent to serve users relevant ads at a fraction of the cost of search ads.
3) Eliminating Waste
Search Retargeting and PSR are only two types of retargeting-there are seven types overall. The common thread through all types of retargeting is that it eliminates waste by only serving ads to people who are truly interested in what you're trying to sell.
The days of paying $450,000 to overtake the Yahoo! homepage and praying that 10% of visitors find your ads relevant is over. Brands can now target display ads to the right people, and only the right people. This cuts slabs of fat from your campaign; with retargeting, campaigns can transform into lean stud muffins that make CMOs swoon.
Ben is VP of Marketing & Partnerships at Chango, where he heads up marketing and is also responsible for expanding the company’s data and media partnerships. Prior to joining Chango, Ben worked with GE Capital for four years to establish and lead the digital media practice. This led to the development of GE Capital’s digital value proposition and its execution worldwide. The new venture re-energized paid, owned and earned media across 70+ web sites. Ben graduated from GE’s Experienced Commercial Leadership program after completing his MBA at McGill University. Before GE, Ben held a variety of Marketing & Business Development roles in the e-payments industry, while working at Gemalto in London. Ben writes frequently for Digiday, CMO.com and Search Engine Watch.