You are what you measure

October 18, 2017

measureBack in the good old days, measuring your business outcomes and the impact of marketing on those outcomes was a challenge and at best, imprecise. Today, we have the opposite problem. Thanks to the web, Google Analytics, cookies, and other tools – we can measure everything. Unique visits, time on site, clicks, and so much more. But are those the things we should be measuring?

In marketing, there’s an important axiom – just because you can doesn’t mean you should. I think that definitely applies to how we define and measure success. I think that the web has made counting things so easy that we’ve forgotten what actually matters. It doesn’t serve anyone to measure just for measurement’s sake.

There are a ton of tactical things we can measure that correspond to a campaign or a specific marketing tactic. Naturally, we need to watch those too but they’re not going to tell us if a business is healthy or not. They’re only insightful to a point.

At MMG, we’ve always subscribed to the philosophy that you should have a few vital metrics (KPIs, goals – call them what you will) that are at the core of your business’ success and you need to monitor them faithfully – watching for trends, good or bad and reacting accordingly.

Every business may have one or two unique metrics but there are some that are pretty universal. This week, we’re going to look at the financial metrics that every organization should measure. We’ll dig into the marketing/sales and employee metrics next week.

Financial Metrics

  1. Lifetime value of a customer (How much does a customer spend over the entire span of working with them)
  2. Annual value of a customer (How much did the average customer spend this year)
  3. Profitability of a customer (For every customer you have, how much money did you make)
  4. Revenue mix (Amount of money from existing customers versus new customers)

Now let’s look at each of these and why they matter.

Lifetime value of a customer: This is a vital metric that tells you how much you can afford to spend to chase after new customers. It also tells you if your pricing strategies are properly aligned and what the loss of a customer is actually going to cost you.

Annual value of a customer: Ideally, this number would increase every year. You want to keep delivering more value so that each customer wants and needs to spend more with you. It should also increase year over year as your retention improves. For most businesses, the customer is much more profitable in years 2+ than they are when you’re onboarding them in year one. The exception to that rule is if you’re a high ticket, considered purchase like a house.

Profitability of a customer: This is one of the most insightful metrics possible. You will quickly identify what size and type of customers are where you make your money. You will also be surprised at the customers who don’t yield a profit or worse – you are paying for the privilege of working for them. It may also suggest that certain products or services that you sell yield better profits.

Revenue mix: New dollars are harder to earn than recurring dollars. But you also need an influx of new dollars to offset the natural attrition that every business experiences. This metric and the retention percentage that we’ll cover next week work hand in hand.

For most organizations, it’s enough to monitor these quarterly because more often than that doesn’t really show much movement. It’s like a built-in early warning system for trouble that will give you time to course correct before the damage is too deep or too expensive to fix.

More

Move the barriers with mobile technology

August 23, 2017

mobile technologyFor the last couple weeks, we’ve been exploring the seismic shift in marketing that is being brought about by mobile technology and the new consumer attitude of “I want what I want when I want it.”

Fortunately the same technology can help us connect with and serve our audiences in a way that is meaningful to them. We need to remember that this is not about mobile technology. It’s about an evolution in our behavior as the world around us changes the rules of the game. And we need to evolve along with it.

I promised that this week we’d look at some examples of how brands are using mobile technology to solve problems that are creating buying or opportunity obstacles for their customers. Let’s take a look at a few:

Example #1: Mobile apps and alerts. One of the biggest challenges that doctors, pharma companies and pharmacists have is getting people to actually take their medicines on time and as often as they should. Not only does this impact the patient’s health outcomes, but from a business perspective, when people don’t take their meds properly, the providers lose out financially.

The solution? The Care 4 Today app was created by Johnson & Johnson’s pharmaceutical company, Janssen. The patient or caregiver loads all of their prescriptions into the app and when the patient is supposed to take something – they get an alert on their phone.

Example #2: Augmented reality. We’ve all been there. You’re standing in a store looking at something you want to buy but you aren’t quite sure how it’s going to fit with what you already have. This is particularly challenging for big-ticket items like furniture or large appliances.

Ikea came up with a great fix. With their catalog app, you can preview their furniture in 3D, and you can also use your smartphones to see exactly how the digital items will look in your home. After selecting a piece of furniture, you put the catalog itself on the ground, where it behaves like an anchor for the 3-D image of the chair or table. If you need to rotate the chairs so they face the window, you just rotate the catalog.

Example #3: Wearables/mobile apps and video. The scarcest of commodities for most people is time. People are constantly on the go, traveling, working too hard and too long and still wanting to stay healthy. Those are some pretty big barriers.

This is a solution that most of us are already familiar with because we’re surrounded by it daily. Look to your left and to your right. Odds are at least one of them is wearing a fitness wearable like a FitBit or Jawbone Up. Or they might be wearing an Apple Watch. These devices pair up with a mobile app to track sleep patterns, step counts and other health metrics.

One of the smartest aspects of many of these devices is that it creates a community of wearers who can encourage, challenge and coach each other.

As marketers, all the examples I’ve shared with you over the last few weeks should be a sharp reminder that our audiences are now learning that they can expect real time access, obstacle-free experiences and time-saving customized conveniences. A daunting mix of expectations for sure.

But they should also serve to remind us that the opportunity to actually connect and be of genuine value to our prospects and customers has never been more robust. It’s pretty exciting to realize we’re just at the infancy of this new era and we’ll be the ones who get to concept what’s possible and to carve out the new norms.

More

Connect to your audience when and where they need you

August 14, 2017

ConnectLast week we talked about these facts in terms of mobile technology in our world today:

  • 95% of all text messages are read and read within 90 seconds of receipt
  • 65% of all email is opened on a mobile device versus a desktop or laptop
  • Mobile is now the first screen worldwide – eclipsing screen time on both PCs and TVs
  • There are more mobile devices on the planet than there are people

Our new marketing reality is that consumers are now of the “I want what I want when I want it” attitude and we need to be able to connect with them at that level. Mobile was a major factor in creating this new marketplace and it will be a major factor for us as we work to stay relevant and viable to the audiences that matter to us.

Smart marketers will recognize that this is not about technology. It’s about an evolution in our behavior as the world around us changes the rules of the game.

I promised you some examples of how businesses are using mobile to make connections and want to deliver on that this week. Let’s look at a few:

Delivering time sensitive and/or location specific content to your target market

The truth is, people want to hear from brands when they need something. No one is sitting around, hoping to hear from you just because. So why not let them connect, telling you what and when they want to hear from you?

Example #1: QR codes done right. One of my favorite examples of this is how Robitussin does this. In pharmacies right by the huge wall of cough medicines, you can scan a QR code and you’re taken to a mobile website to diagnose exactly which version of their cough medicine is right for you and your family.

Just answer a few questions about your symptoms and voila, they will tell you exactly which of the bazillion versions is the best fit.

QR codes are like the redheaded stepchild of marketing technology because our industry has used them so foolishly without thinking about the audience experience. But Robitussin got it right. It’s actually helpful and using the technology for the right reasons.

Example #2: Geofencing. This is a feature in a software program that uses the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define geographical boundaries. Think of it as a virtual barrier.

A great example of this is the Wal-Mart app. When you’re within a certain radius of a Wal-Mart, your phone will push special coupons, price decreases etc. your way. Not as big as Wal-Mart? Imagine being a locally owned chocolate shop with rabid fans. As they near your location, you could push out the flavor you’re sampling that day or your buy a pound of fudge, get a pound free special.

Example #3: Beacons. Beacons are a low-cost piece of hardware that is small enough to attach to a wall or countertop that use Bluetooth connections to transmit messages or prompts to a smartphone or tablet. They are beginning to transform how retailers, event organizers, transit systems, enterprises, and educational institutions communicate with people within a contained space (think exhibit hall, airport, retail location).

Virgin Airlines uses beacon technology at Heathrow airport to connect to their premium fliers with special offers for things like commission-free currency exchanges and directions to a private security screening area.

Apple Stores use them as well – sending notices about in-store events and helping customers expedite their shopping experience.

Next week we’ll explore how brands are using mobile to solve problems that are buying obstacles for their customers.

More

The mobile revolution is not about technology

August 9, 2017

mobileThe truth is, we live in a permanent technological revolution. Remember when you didn’t have a cell phone because no one did. Granted some of you may be too young to remember that – but the majority of readers are not. That’s a pretty short window. We’ve gone from not knowing what a mobile phone was to 91% of adults have a mobile device within arm’s reach 24/7 in less than 25 years.

And if anything, things are just moving faster than ever, which means we’d better buckle in because we’re on a never-ending roller coaster.

Consider these additional facts:

  • 95% of all text messages are read and read within 90 seconds of receipt
  • 65% of all email is opened on a mobile device versus a desktop or laptop
  • Mobile is now the first screen worldwide – eclipsing screen time on both PCs and TVs
  • There are more mobile devices on the planet than there are people

Mobile has become THE place for media consumption. It’s where people connect on social media, it’s where they watch videos, read, search for where they should eat dinner and, based on their apps – renew their prescriptions, pay for coffee with a quick scan or board a plane. And that’s child’s play compared to what is coming next.

But the important thing for us to recognize from a marketing point of view has nothing to do with the devices. The real mobile revolution is about our behaviors and choices, not the device of the day.

This technology has changed how consumers behave. They are less patient, more demanding, have higher expectations and a lower tolerance for any sort of delay, disappointment or lack of options.

Forget millennials or baby boomers. We’ve become the IWWIWWIWI culture.

The “I want what I want when I want it” attitude is evident in how we consume today. Wait for a TV show to actually be on TV? Forget it. I’ll watch what I want, when I want and I will binge watch as many episodes as I want on whichever device I want. Wait a week for you to get something in stock? I don’t think so. I’ll just order it on Amazon and I’ll have it tomorrow.

A global survey asked respondents to assign a value to their smart phone and the average consumer came up with an implied value of $6,000. Which makes perfect sense, given how we’ve come to rely on the super computers we carry in our pockets every day.

Those are the consumers we’re trying to reach and sell to every day. How should we be taking advantage of this mobile revolution to win the loyalty and buying dollars of these consumers?

As marketers we can and should be using mobile to:

  • Deliver time sensitive content to audiences
  • Reach out to audiences with location specific information and offers
  • Solve problems for key audiences at the exact moment/location they need it
  • Create community around a passion or cause or shared need/experience
  • Develop a deeper, more meaningful experience or connection
  • Accomplish tasks in a faster, easier and better way

One of the realities of this new world is that what used to be unattainable for the average small to mid-sized business is now well within your reach, both in terms of access to the technology and affordability.

Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll look at some of the ways mobile is being used today to connect with consumers, build brands, and drive sales. We’ll look at B2B and B2C examples that are leveraging everything from SMS texts, QR Codes, augmented reality, mobile apps, location/GPS technologies and much more.

More

Productivity Hacks

May 31, 2017

ProductivityI don’t know anyone who feels as though there are enough hours in the day. Whether you want more time to spend with your family, to chase a new business opportunity or to pursue that big dream you’ve always tucked in the back of your head – you could always use an extra hour or few. And to get there, your productivity needs to be at its peak.

We could absolutely do less and for some people, that’s a viable and attractive option.  But for those of us who aren’t ready to slow down but still want to be as efficient as possible – there are some tools that can help.

For me, there are some absolutes that must be present when I consider a new productivity tool.  Missing any one of these is usually a deal breaker for me.

  • Must be accessible on all of my devices (laptop, tablet and mobile phone) if appropriate
  • Must sync all data between my devices so no matter which tool I’m using to get to the tool – the data is current
  • Has to be Apple/Mac friendly
  • Simple, simple, simple – I don’t have the time or the desire to learn something complicated
  • Responsive customer service team – if I run into trouble, I want to know there’s a human being somewhere in the mix who can help me
  • Can’t cost an arm or leg but I am willing to spend some money to get the fully loaded version or some of the features (like sharing capacity) that I need

I thought it might be useful to share a few of the tools that I use on a daily basis to keep my world in order and to be as productive as possible.

Evernote:  Think of Evernote as a virtual super secretary that helps you keep everything you might need at your fingertips.  It’s like a virtual file cabinet that stores notes, visuals, web clippings, digitized business cards, audio files and so much more.

What makes this tool so useful is the ability to tag everything you add.  So searching for something that you stored two years ago becomes a breeze, as long as you’ve created a simple tagging system/hierarchy.

My Evernote is a mishmash of blog post ideas, notes from client meetings, web clippings of things I want to share with someone or refer to later, my digital Rolodex and a list of vacation options for upcoming trips.

Wunderlist:  I searched for a couple years to find a To Do list app that actually helped me get things done.  I can keep multiple lists, share them with other people so there’s built in accountability and it is easy to access on all of my devices.  Most To Do apps are unnecessarily complicated.  Part of what I love about Wunderlist is its simplicity.

My lists include client To Dos, things I need to do around my house, my grocery list, phone calls I need to make, next steps (tied to calendar reminders) for some new business prospecting and best of all – I can share tasks with others on my team and assign responsibility as needed.

Tiny Scan Pro: This phone app produces incredibly legible scans of any document. If you travel or are out of the office on a regular basis, being able to scan a document and then either email it to someone, upload it to Evernote, DropBox, Google Drive or other cloud tools is invaluable. If you have the companion app Tiny FAX, you can even go old school and fax it to someone.

Productivity – It’s all about getting things done smarter, faster and with less hassle. Hopefully, these tools will allow you to spend more of your time doing the things you love the most with the people you love the most.

More

Smart mobile marketing is scarce at best

May 2, 2017

Mobile MarketingAs people spend more and more time on their mobile devices (phones, tablets and phablets), it only makes sense that budgets are being shifted in that direction. But there are several challenges with mobile marketing that most advertisers still have not figured out.

  • The creative is not all that effective and is usually a banner ad that’s been re-sized for the mobile application as opposed to truly thinking about the mobile viewer and what would capture their attention
  • The ads are not action driven enough – they are more often than not, passive, brand ads
  • It’s difficult, without cookies, to track effectiveness
  • It’s tough to connect mobile ads to in-store purchases because of some of the same tracking issues
  • Targeting is a challenge – the accuracy of the existing tools are unproven

That’s why when mobile marketing is done well, it’s worth examining. Dunkin’ Donuts ran a campaign a few years ago that can teach us several lessons about how to use mobile wisely.

Their goal was to reach coffee drinkers who did not routinely visit a Dunkin’ Donuts store. They wanted to change their buying behavior and encourage them to visit a Dunkin’ Donuts rather than one of their competitors. They wanted to generate measurable behaviors so they decided to pair demographic targeting and location information, so they were speaking to the right people at the time they were likely looking for a place to buy coffee.

Dunkin’ Donuts targeted coffee drinkers using a third party’s proprietary software that builds behavior profiles based on mobile activity. Then, they geo-fenced the area around their competitors’ stores. When one of these coffee drinking/buying consumers crossed into the geo-fenced area – they were served up coupons for Dunkin’ Donuts.

This allowed them not to cannibalize their own customers because the ads were only served up near their competitors’ locations.

The ads were a call to action – a coupon. They offered coffee for $1 or $2 for a coffee/meal combo. Consumers could download the coupons for later use. More than a third of the consumers who clicked on the ad took additional actions. They either saved the coupon or they searched for the closest Dunkin’ Donuts location. But even more impressive is that 3.6% of the people who saved the coupons actually redeemed them.

As you might imagine, Dunkin’ Donuts is expanding this campaign beyond its original test locations.

What are the lessons we can take from their success?

Previous behavior is a great predictor of future behavior: The strategy surrounding your targeting is vital to a successful mobile campaign. This is not the tool for a broad branding campaign. People use their smart phones for information and to accelerate action. Your campaign should have that same focus.

Location, location, location: This is a feature of smart phones that most mobile campaigns either don’t use or use poorly. But it’s a fine line. If your ad is too specific or requires immediate action, it might freak out the consumer and feel too “big brotherish.” But you do want to offer them choices that they could either use immediately or save for later.

You can create your own measurement tools: One of the reasons this mobile marketing campaign was successful is that they plotted out multiple steps and options for the consumer to take. With each action, they could track the consumer’s responses and ultimately were able to tie it back to a variety of actions, from searching for a store location to making a purchase.

This is an area where both the opportunities and the obstacles are plentiful. We have to learn how to manage the obstacles – because we certainly don’t want to pass on the opportunity!

More

What does your welcome mat say?

April 19, 2017

WelcomeWhat does your welcome mat say?  Several summers ago, I spent some time in Europe with my daughter celebrating her college graduation and even though I was on vacation, I couldn’t help but see things through a marketing lens.

One of the places we visited was Madrid, Spain and neither of us spoke very much Spanish. I was eavesdropping as we did our tourist thing and I would say about 50% of the people in Madrid are from the United States or Canada and spoke English. It was interesting to me to see how different businesses react to the challenge/opportunity of a non-Spanish speaking guest.

Just a note – we try very hard to show our respect for the countries we visit and always learn many of the more common phrases. We address everyone in Spanish in terms of greetings, directions, saying please and thank you, etc. We certainly don’t expect them to Americanize their country, but we are hardly fluent and are very self conscious of that fact.

My point isn’t about communicating in Europe but instead, how some of the business owners have recognized an opportunity to attract more foreign guests by making it clear that they’ll be welcomed and accommodated. And even more to the point – It got me thinking about how we can adopt that same attitude, even if we don’t face a language barrier with some of our potential customers.

Some establishments make it clear by displaying English versions of their menus, by having a large sign that says, ”we speak English” or by hoisting a British flag near their entrance. This was true in the more tourist crowded parts of the city as well as some of the very local pubs, where we were the only non-locals in the joint.

All of this got me wondering – how do we put out welcome mats (or not) for our potential customers?

Identify your outliers: First think about who, beyond your usual customer, might need your services/products. Is there a group of people who are “lingering” outside your door and just need to be invited in? Might they actually be even more grateful for your product or service, if they felt welcome? Imagine what that kind of word of mouth among their peers might be worth to you.

Move the barriers: Could it be there’s a communication barrier of some kind in the way? It may not be a language issue but are you using jargon that tells the novices they’re not welcome? And remember, sometimes it’s what you don’t say that gets in the way. What might make a potential customer pause and re-think “walking through your door?”

Add more welcome mats: Let’s assume you either have a literal front door to your business or your website is your virtual one. How welcoming are they? Do they reassure that fringe audience that you not only can help them but you really want to? Do you have a way for them to see themselves as your customer? That could be anything from a FAQ section that answers their specific questions, testimonials that come from folks just like them or a marketing tool that explains how you onboard new clients so they can visualize becoming one of your best customers.

You know that you want them as a customer. But they may not be as tuned in as you think. If they’re nervous about doing business with you or spending big money or switching from an old vendor – they may need a little positive reinforcement. Or it may be that they feel like an outsider or that they wouldn’t belong.

It’s your job to make sure they know just how much you’d like to help them and make it easy for them to walk in the door.

 

 

 

More

Marketing automation done right

March 15, 2017

marketing automation

According to Wikipedia, marketing automation “refers to software platforms and technologies designed for marketing departments and organizations to more effectively market on multiple channels online (such as email, social media, websites, etc.) and automate repetitive tasks.

The most common channel where marketing automation is used is email. Whether you realize it or not, you’ve interacted with marketing automation software when you:

  • Signed up for an email newsletter
  • Subscribed to a blog by RSS feed or email
  • Provided your email address so you could download a white paper or ebook
  • Completed a “contact us” form on a website
  • Purchased something online

There are lots of other ways to trigger an automated tool but those are among the most common. Marketing automation is often connected to the idea of creating a “drip campaign” where a person is identified as a prospect and is sent a series of marketing communications over an extended period of time so the company can stay top of mind with that prospect.

Some marketing automation is created for a finite number of contacts or period of time. For example, if you download an ebook and then receive three or four emails that are related to that ebook topic – that’s a relatively short run automation. On the other side of the spectrum, we have had some subscribers to Drew’s Marketing Minute e-newsletter for over a decade. Some of them have ended up being clients but many of them have never hired us and that’s just fine. We’re happy to stay in touch and share our marketing expertise with them.

Whether you are thinking you’re going to create a short or long run automation, there are some best practices you should keep in mind:

Remember, you’re the guest: You’ve been given permission to be in your prospect’s inbox, so you need to remember that you’re their guest. They can ask you to leave just as quickly as they invited you in. Like any good guest, you want to be interesting to them and not overstay your welcome. In email terms that means sharing helpful content versus sales pitches and not bombard them with emails.

Wear a white hat: No matter what kind of marketing automation software you use, from the simple ones like Mail Chimp or Constant Contact to the more complex InfusionSoft, Marketo or Hubspot – they will be scoring your email behavior. If you send too many emails to bad email addresses, or your recipients report your email as SPAM (this happens a lot if you buy an email list rather than growing one organically) then your provider will either restrict the emails you send or they can shut you down completely. Always practice white hat email practices to stay in their good graces and to actually have successful email campaigns.

Add a human touch: Automation is awesome and it helps you stay on track, on a schedule and under your prospect’s nose. But sooner or later, they may want to actually communicate with a human being. Be sure that someone is actually watching for responses and reacting to any questions, feedback or requests for more information. I know that should be obvious, but you’d be amazed at how many companies do not monitor the email address that they use with their automation.

Don’t treat everyone the same: Someone who completed a form requesting more information has a very different motivation than someone who gives you their email address in exchange for an ebook. One of the best features of marketing automation software is that you can create different paths for different people and you should take full advantage of that.

Marketing automation is only going to get more prevalent and more sophisticated. Learn and perfect these best practices now and reap the benefits.

More

Help – my digital display ads aren’t working

February 22, 2017

Digital Display Ads

I recently got an email from a reader who was struggling with their digital display ads. They were underperforming and the business owner was considering pulling the ads.

Here’s what I said back to her.

Thanks for your email and the stats on your digital ads. You’re right, based on industry standards, your click-through rate of less than .1% is not within the gold standard of an effective campaign.

Before I dig into some of the reasons why your ads may be underperforming, remember that click-through is just one metric used to measure the effectiveness of a digital ad campaign.

With any rich media that includes brand creative, engagement rates are just one aspect of the ad’s success or failure. Many companies view their digital display ads as being a tool to drive brand awareness as well as a direct response vehicle. Unfortunately, it’s tough to measure that sort of uptick in brand awareness, which is why most people default to their click-through rates.

You also need to recognize that there are lots of ways a person can find your business without clicking on your display ad at that given moment. Think about your own behavior. I’m sure there was a time you saw a banner ad that caught your interest but instead of clicking on the ad, you did a search for the company or product in your favorite search engine, or just typed the company’s URL directly into your web browser.  The ad you saw made an impression on you and got you to take an action. You might have seen that ad on the same day but probably not. When it was convenient for you or your need escalated and you were ready to buy, you found the company and became a customer.

The importance of seeing your ads becomes even greater when we start talking about retargeting. If someone has already been to your site and then they start seeing your ads, the likelihood of them returning to your site is greatly increased.

But I do want to address your question. Assuming the main reason you’re running digital display ads is to trigger an immediate action, here are some reasons why your campaign is underperforming.

Bad creative: Regardless of the medium, creative matters. If your ads are not visually arresting, if your message is not attention grabbing or if your visuals are boring – you’ve got trouble.

Too many words: Many people cram too much into a digital ad. You need to think of it like an outdoor board. Depending on the size — seven to ten words at the most is a good rule of thumb.

Wrong websites/audience: It’s easy to place digital ads. It’s not always easy to place them in the right spots. If you can afford it – let a professional help you.

Bad offer: Keep in mind, your ad needs to offer the viewer something so compelling that I am going to stop whatever I am on the web/mobile to do and click. So it can’t be subtle, boring or unimpressive. You are trying to literally stop me in my tracks and get me to change direction. That takes oomph.

No call to action: Give me a reason to click. Offer me a free ebook, free trial, 20% off or something. If your ad doesn’t tell me what my reward is for clicking on it, odds are I’m not going to unless I was already actively looking for whatever you sell.

Digital display ads are often a very cost effective tool in your marketing arsenal. But like most tactics – there are some best practices you need to follow if you want to enjoy a healthy ROI on your investment.

More

Retargeting – Who Do You Have In Your Sights?

August 24, 2016

retargetingI remember the first time I noticed retargeting. I’d been online, checking the park hours before my next trip to Disney World. From that website, I did some work and then went to a CBS sports site to adjust my fantasy football team before the weekend.

As I was trying to decide which running back to play, I noticed a Disney World ad in the side bar. “How weird is that,” I thought, “I was just on the Disney site earlier today. What are the odds?”

Well today – you and I know that the odds are pretty darn high, thanks to retargeting. Only 2% of web visitors convert on their first visit. That means 98% didn’t do what you wanted them to do, be it sign up for a free online class, purchase something or download your free ebook. But thanks to retargeting, you’ll get another shot at them.

Retargeting is a cookie-based technology that uses a simple JavaScript code to anonymously follow your audience all over the Web. You just place an unobtrusive piece of code on your website (this code is sometimes referred to as a pixel). The code is unnoticeable to your site visitors and doesn’t impact your site’s performance.

Each time a new visitor comes to your site, the code drops an anonymous cookie onto their browser. Later, when your cookied visitors browse the Web, the cookie will let your retargeting provider know when to serve ads, ensuring that your ads are only shown to people who have previously visited your site.

Most people know about this kind of retargeting, called site retargeting. But there are other ways to use this technology.

Site retargeting: As I said above, this is when you place a cookie on visitors to your website. But not every visitor is of equal value to you. You can set it so they have to take a certain action or view a certain page before you place the cookie. That way, you know you’re only talking to your best prospects.

Search Retargeting: You are targeting individuals on search engines who have entered a search using key words or phrases that you’ve identified as being relevant to your business. This isn’t as precise as site retargeting so you’ll want to make sure your digital ads don’t assume more interest than there really is.

SEM/SEO retargeting: Think of this as a one-two punch. First, they have to use certain pre-determined search terms and then they have to also visit your site. This gives you a very narrow group of people, so you can be very specific in your creative that is aimed at them.

Email retargeting: This version of retargeting is based on actions that people take after they receive an email from you. Think of all the actions someone could take after they receive your e-newsletter, for example. You could create separate campaigns aimed at people who opened your email, who clicked on a certain link or who forwarded your email along to someone else.

Social retargeting: This type of retargeting gets your prospects earlier in the sales funnel. It is based on interest-based data points that allow you to create audience groups. Think of it as a “birds of a feather flock together” assumptive effort.

I’m hard pressed to think of a business that couldn’t use one or more forms of retargeting as part of their overall marketing strategy. We’re doing some variation of it for almost every one of our clients.

Not only does it allow you to talk to people who are more likely to become first-time buyers, but also it’s very cost effective when managed by professionals who know the ropes. If you haven’t experimented with this, you probably should.

 

 

More
1 2 3 12