Consider the following key takeaways from 2013 when you plan your retargeting strategy:
1. Know the difference between site and search retargeting: The most widely used form is site retargeting, directed at users that have already visited your site or expressed interest via an initiated purchase. One disadvantage is that site retargeting does not help marketers increase their audience pool.
On the other hand, search retargeting focuses on users that demonstrate interest by searching for your brand or product when they are not on your site, and is an effective strategy for growing audience reach. More and more marketers are finding that search retargeting is best used to build awareness and influence brand preference, while site retargeting is better suited for direct response and conversion campaigns. Before you incorporate site or search retargeting into your media plan this year, know which strategy is best for achieving your goals. Tip: Be ubiquitous. For proven success, deploy both site and search retargeting strategies across multiple channels and within various media environments (for example, Facebook Exchange and premium inventory).
2. Understand encryption: Google set a wildfire through the industry when it announced this past September that it would begin encrypting all search data instead of just particular points. Microsoft and Yahoo are following suit with similar announcements. What does this all mean? There’s now a huge roadblock for marketers wholly dependent on keyword data from these major search engine partners. Keyword level performance data will no longer be available after Q4 2013, making organic search optimization much more difficult to execute. Technology partners leveraging search data from alternative and vertical search sites have a clear advantage in the current landscape and will remain unscathed by this shift. In planning your retargeting efforts, particularly if they entail search (i.e. keyword-level targeting in display), be sure to consider what type of partners are best suited to accomplish your specific goals.
3. Experiment with cross-channel: Although many marketers are unclear about how best to launch retargeting campaigns across devices, experimenting with cross-channel retargeting could help you reach your target audience in ways you never dreamed possible. More than 60% of adults in the U.S. access information on the mobile Web. And although third-party cookies do not work across most of the mobile ecosystem (iOS and in-app advertising), they do work on mobile Web for Android devices. Android operating systems account for 52% of the smartphone market in the U.S., and more than 80% globally, so that’s real inventory. The more the market demands targeting across devices, the faster technology companies will strive to make this a reality. Look for retargeting opportunities that reach your audience across various devices and provide reach extension to operating systems that do not support cookies.
4. Protect your brand and make sure your ads are seen: Ensuring your brand is safely deployed across quality content and inventory is still challenge for everyone within the digital space. No one likes to see advertising dollars go to waste, especially due to fraud. Although we’ve seen great strides this past year in protecting against impression fraud, there is still a long way to go in terms of technology, standardization and attribution. Ad viewability will also continue to be a priority for marketers, especially as the industry works towards standardization. Pre-bid targeting solutions that offer buyers quality data to inform their decisions on inventory purchases, including insights into page content, viewability and suspicious activity, will be marketers’ best friends in 2014.Over the next year, we’re sure to see even more changes to the digital marketing landscape and retargeting in particular, but keeping these tips in mind will help.