Marketing Funnel Lexicon: Retargeting

As discussed in our previous columns, the marketing funnel is a useful paradigm for B2B marketers, as it reminds us of how our strategies, tactics, and metrics change depending on where we are looking to make an impact on the buying process. Top-funnel tactics such as display advertising, social media, and PR offer the ability to reach a large audience, mid-funnel programs including corporate blogs and webinars do much to help educate and nurture prospects, and bottom-funnel channels like search and email are effective at engaging those who are ready to buy.



But what about those prospects whose attention we have captured through any one of these programs, but who have not yet converted (e.g., downloaded a white paper, signed up for a free trial, etc.)? One of the best approaches to driving online conversions is retargeting, a display advertising technique that enables marketers to serve highly relevant display ads based on prospects’ previous interests. There are many flavors of retargeting, including:

·         Web site retargeting – Delivering ads to people who have already visited your Web site, landing pages, or blog

·         CRM retargeting – Targeting ads to leads you have already captured in your CRM or marketing automation database

·         Social retargeting – Serving specific ads to those who have clicked on your social links

·         Search retargeting – Delivering ads to users based on the specific terms they’ve used on search engines

Here are three reasons to consider investing in any or all of these forms of retargeting.

1. Boost the impact of all your marketing channels

Think about all of the places where a user might interact with your brand online -- your corporate Web site, your email landing pages, or your Facebook or Twitter page. Every one of these marketing vehicles presents an opportunity for you to potentially generate -- but also lose -- a conversion. Instead of people clicking through to a landing page, not filling out a form, and leaving forever, retargeting gives you a second chance with prospects, keeping your brand and message in front of them anywhere they go online so that when they do decide they are ready to engage, you’re the first brand that comes to mind. 

2. Customize retargeting to align with where prospects are in the buying process

The many variations of retargeting allow marketers to customize their retargeting ad creative and approaches to generate the best results. For example, people who click on links in your Twitter feed may just be starting to learn about your brand, so you can use social retargeting to display ad creative designed to increase awareness. But if prospects visit a specific product page on your Web site, they are likely further along in the buying process, and you can help drive new business by offering a free trial or discount in your retargeted ads.

3. Generate leads with display advertising in a cost-effective way

While display advertising is a great marketing channel for building brand awareness at the top of the funnel, the technique of retargeting shows how display advertising can shine at driving leads and conversions at the bottom of the funnel. Why? The prospects you are retargeting have already expressed an interest in your product or service, and retargeting gives you the opportunity to tailor your message to them so they are more likely to convert the next time around. What’s more, retargeting is an extremely affordable way to test the waters of display advertising if you’ve never used it before, as many retargeting platforms are “pay for performance,” similar to paid search.

Brands of all sizes, from global enterprises to SMBs, can benefit from retargeting -- and thanks to the wide range of retargeting options available, marketers have a variety of ways to experiment and benefit from this versatile tactic.




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