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Digital Remarketing – What It Is and How To Use It

What It Is and How to Use It

Tips to turn strangers into customers by meeting them where they are

We’d like to think that all engagements with our business follow a linear path to purchase. The visitor makes initial contact with your site, fills out information to download an incentive, displays interest in communicating. Within minutes, a rep makes contact and the user efficiently become a customer, entering credit card information to purchase.
In reality, the buyer’s journey is more meandering. Visitors engage with your website, then leave without return, or a user discovers your blog, deciding to download an incentive without ever purchasing.
Though discouraging, these dead end interactions result from a hitch in your messaging that didn’t work for them the first time around. And if the message didn’t work the first time, odds are it won’t work the second or twentieth time either.
Fortunately, remarketing gives you permission to creatively try something new while acknowledging the buyer’s individual needs.

Know and nurture the lead

Singling out the priorities of specific users is the core of remarketing. Under another name, you must segment your audience to tailor ad messages to users in different stages of the purchase funnel. For example, when a visitor comes to your main page, you can target them with creatives that communicate general brand awareness. If they look at your product page, you can serve them with more specific ads around your product offerings.
But how do you capture all the data necessary to create specific remarketing campaigns?
Remarketing, in its most basic form, fires a tag on a webpage that places a cookie on a visitor’s browser. That cookie is then used to allow a digital marketer to target that user through paid search and display ads. Remarketing lists are created based on the way that pages and actions on a webpage are tagged.
Just a few years ago, only larger data-centric organizations were able to invest in data mining, but small businesses now have access to simple-to-use third-party tools from companies like Google, Criteo, and Facebook.

Meet consumers where they are

While the buying process may never be the desired linear experience, it can become more streamlined and effective.
With that in mind, here are some easy ways to help users through their buyer journey. Their relevancy to your business will differ depending on your market, company and personal goals.

  1. Address concerns while segmenting your remarketing lists

Organize your list of Web visitors by behavior and assess how this reveals the buyer’s concerns. For instance, if a consumer gets to the last page of an e-commerce checkout process and doesn’t complete the purchase, that person should be added to a different segment for a different messaging set than a user who only visited the homepage.
Perhaps their behavior implies a concern for more price comparison shopping. As a result, you may run ads that address price matching guarantees to avoid losing business to a competitor’s lower-pricing:

Ultimately, if a significant portion of your audience has a specific concern that is hindering conversion, retarget and organize them in a way that will address that concern.

  1. Use cross-channel advertising

The theme of remarketing is to catch the consumer where they are.
According to Nielsen’s 2014 report on The Digital Consumer, Americans own four digital devices on average and spend an average of 60 hours a week consuming content on them. Therefore, the way that users consume advertising has become increasingly more fluid: flowing from text to image to video for purchasing and engagement.
Focusing campaigning on a single channel clearly limits your exposure. Offering a variety of types of ads will increase this opportunity for conversion:


With the use of text and product listing ads, display ads, social media advertising, video ads and mobile device specific ads, you’re more likely to reach your market.

  1. Incentivize and offer discounts

If your data indicates that price is a major concern for your audience, offering a discount or promotion could motivate those whose concerns hinder conversion. In the matchup of comparison shopping, urgency renders these deals even more effective.
For example, this ZyXel ad offers both a discount to make the product competitive and an ending date for the promotion:

Depending on the nature of your product, complementary products may also be bundled – technology products with warranties, apparel products with accessories, and organizational or protective products as bonuses to the primary goods.
Ads for grouped products are especially useful because they can both renew interest for consumers who have visited your site without purchasing and incentivize the return of previous purchasers by offering additional options.

Utilize buying cycles and previous purchasers

Although remarketing tends to target the 96 percent of consumers that Google cites as visiting websites without completing a transaction, the marginal users that do convert are also essential opportunities for remarketing.
To do this effectively, knowing the timeline of your specific buying cycle will inform the frequency of the campaign. Is it appropriate to buy an additional product or service soon after the initial purchase or is there a longer waiting period?
The timeline for upgrading subscriptions or purchasing new products is highly dependent on the behavior of your consumer.
There’s not a straight line to success. Testing and retesting the ways people respond and use your product will dictate the type of remarketing you employ. Remember, a user’s failure to convert almost always carries a reason. Your marketing must pursue that reason and forge a new path to conversion./