Next thing I know, in my inbox is an email from JetBlue announcing a $20 off promotion. Wait...did they just...retargeting delivered via email campaigns? Cool!
Turns out plenty of other people got that same email that day who hadn't visited JetBlue.com, so it was just a coincidence. Got me thinking though.
Everything should be delivered behaviorally, when it can. Given the choice between a) sending your mailer out all at once to a bunch of people who may or may not be interested in your offer right now or b) sending it asynchronously to people as they visit your website, which do you think would net more fish?
From a technological standpoint, this would be complex but not that difficult (and maybe someone's doing it -- let me know if you are!). I have booked with JetBlue before, they have a good idea of my likely IP address and have my email on file. It's just a matter of connecting the two in real time.
But why stop there? With Google's foray into managing TV ad campaigns, why shouldn't those commercials I watch (read: fast forward through but certainly notice brand images) pique my attention by being directly related to my online brand intent? I know what you're thinking: this is creepy. Any new intent-based technology always is, and the challenge for us as marketers is how to harness it for our own good while engaging the consumer in a not-too-intrusive way.
For example, if the fact that I'm being retargeted so early and often across channels means that I get an exclusive, 20% offer for a trip I was already going to book with my favorite airline, I say bring it on. Here's a tip: if you're retargeting people, there's usually a reason they left your site, and you should do what you can to sweeten the deal for them. First time you retarget them, remind them of the product they were deliberating over on your site. Still no conversion, give them a coupon to buy that product. Still nothing? Free shipping. Eventually cut them off, but this stuff works -- yet there are a scant few companies doing it right.
And I bet the privacy hawks would clamor a whole lot less if they were getting a better deal from JFK to Aruba because of our new scary technology...