Keep shooting at the target, or miss it completely.
If you challenged a marksman to pick up a new gun, take only one shot, and must hit the bullseye you probably would see a facial expression you have never seen before. However, there are a lot of us that should have the same look of crazy on our face when a decision is made in our Marketing efforts not to include retargeting.
We all know the statistics around the number of times it takes to get a cold lead to move down the funnel to a sales qualified lead. Depending on the product or service you are selling governs the number of times we need to get in front of them. There is no exact science other than we know it is more than once. That is unless we are selling the hottest new trend in which we can ride that wave as long as it carries us. Unfortunately, for most of us, we do not have that luxury.
Think of it like this; a person is walking down a long hall in an outlet mall with all the shopping choices they could ever need. You step out of your store and say something and draw them in. Congratulations, you have beaten significant odds if you are lucky enough to get that one person to enter your door. Now imagine if you did not say another word to that person and just let them rummage around a bit in the store. Would that person stay or leave? You persuaded them to enter the store in a genius way, but then let them decide on their own whether they needed your service or product.
Half the battle is getting the potential client to take notice of what you are offering. When they do, it is our responsibility as Marketers to keep the communication going and move them from Prospect to MQL to SQL to Client. We no longer live in a world in which people respond to direct sales and follow-up is key to conversion.
Retargeting is a way to keep the communication going after the person shows interest. We know what their interests are because they have presented a behavior that makes us aware. If someone clicks a link in an email, we now have the insight into what should be the next communication. If someone clicks an ad, we now know what ad to present next.
Retargeting is hands down the most important part of digital marketing that most Marketers do not get. A lot of them are still under the impression that a one and done methodology is still a workable strategy. I am here to tell you it is absolutely not. If you believe it is you are failing in a huge way. You might even think you are doing good because you are hitting some KPI’s. However, if you are not utilizing retargeting strategies, you are falling extremely far from your campaigns full potential.
So, how is it done effectively you say? Retargeting is an extension of the original action your prospect took. I.E., if you own a used car lot and have a range of compact vehicles to large trucks and someone on the website clicks on a bunch of compact vehicles, you can probably ascertain that they want a compact car. More importantly are the engagement clues we gain and build our strategy around. The clues should be evident by their actions. Maybe they care about the environment. Possibly frugal because of gas prices. The overall cost of compact cars is lower than full size.
We could really get knee deep into this one example, but I will keep it high-level not to overwhelm. So, not to play psychologist, but we know our products/services. It is not a far stretch to dissect the why, how, and when people interact with our first marketing efforts. The first interaction is how we segment our audiences and send them down the relevant path they should take from each “actionable” scenario they have made. It is also the perfect time to A/B test our theories, but we can hit on that in another blog post.
All of the strategies should be in line with the action they took so that the next content delivery will complement the original action. From the example above the next ad or email could talk about specific compact cars and how they not only will save money, but also help save the environment. Remember this is not a one-way conversation. Based on how they interact with the 2nd communication will determine the 3rd communication and so on so forth. If they do not interact with communication two, we move on to the next theory like showing examples of compact car prices compared to mid-sized. The possibilities are endless if you dive deep down enough and have a real understanding of the prospect/client buying habits for your product/service.
Frequency and timing are imperative to the success of retargeting as well. We need to be mindful of when the next delivery will happen. With some actions, you will want to deliver the next communication right away. The cadence in which you send this is also important. Send to many, and you will burn out your audience by irritating them. Send too few, and they will have amnesia from when they first interacted with you. On some occasions, you might wait up to a month. Typically the ladder would be for cross-selling, upselling or advocacy programs depending on the product/service and if they just recently made a purchase. The best way to gauge the frequency is by talking to the sales staff as their insight of the sales cycle will give you a good starting point to test.
If you are currently struggling with conversion and are not utilizing retargeting in your marketing arsenal, please start. If you are using it and not seeing an uptick in conversion, please optimize it. Technology has made it unbelievably easy to retarget those that have sought you out. You do not need to be a fortune 500 company to see unbelievable results utilizing retargeting methods. What you do need is a knack for strong strategies that are in place to complement the behavioral actions your prospects/clients are taking. And like everything in the MARTECH Stack, think big, work hard, and scale.