A Refresher on Retargeting & Helpful Tips


Retargeting has been a growing trend in marketing because of the perceived ROI it brings. The trend with retargeting has grown to the point where Facebook is even getting in the game. But what is retargeting exactly and how can it benefit you?

Vik Duggal from Retargeter sheds more light on retargeting in the following interview.

Eric Siu: Retargeting has traditionally been thought of as a bottom-of-the-funnel tactic. Given recent advances in the retargeting space, do you believe this still holds true?

Vik Duggal: While it’s true that the first use cases of retargeting focused on bringing back bounced visitors and people who abandoned their shopping carts, the technology has evolved to work at other points in the purchase funnel as well. One example is search retargeting, which lets marketers serve display ads to people based on their search behavior. This is an effective method for driving targeted traffic to a site because it combines the high intent of search with the reach and branding effects of display ads, and it’s proven to be effective as a top of the funnel tactic for both direct response and brand marketers.

ES: What about after the user converts? Are there any opportunities to continue engaging with users, or does the conversion signal the end of the campaign?

VD: In most cases, the conversion event – whether it’s a purchase, a lead submission, or another on-site action – ends the retargeting campaign for a user by firing a burn pixel, which removes the retargeting cookie from the user’s browser.

This is important to ensure that brands don’t continue to serve their users ads after they’ve already converted, which is one of the most frequently cited criticisms of retargeting. At the same time, it’s possible to burn a user from the initial retargeting campaign and enter them into an entirely different retargeting campaign focused on post-conversion engagement.

ES: What would be some use cases for a post-conversion retargeting campaign?

VD: In the retail and ecommerce contexts, a post-conversion campaign could be focused on driving up-sells, cross-sells, and repeat business by showing users ads for products that are similar to the products they have already purchased.

For B2B or SaaS companies, a post-conversion campaign can focus on promoting referrals and word-of-mouth buzz by encouraging users to share their experience across their social networks, usually via an incentive contained within the ad itself. No matter what the specific implementation, creating a post-conversion retargeting campaign provides a channel through which brands can communicate with their customers and nurture their relationships to increase brand loyalty and lifetime value.

ES: How can marketers utilize multiple retargeting options as part of an integrated strategy?

VD: With proper planning, it’s possible to create a full-funnel retargeting strategy, but there are some important elements that need to be in place.

First, different stages of the funnel will require different creatives—the top of the funnel campaign should focus on general brand awareness and acquainting users with your unique value proposition. The post-visit site retargeting campaign can then go deeper to focus on a specific benefit or point of differentiation, since awareness is no longer an issue. Once the user has converted, the creatives should reflect the fact that the user is now a customer, and include messaging tailored towards return visits, repeat purchases, and referrals.

Second, you must take care to properly setup your segment and burn pixels so that users are seamlessly removed from one campaign and entered into another. If this is done incorrectly, marketers runs the risk of over-serving ads to users and souring them on the brand as a result. If done correctly, however, a marketer can create multiple touchpoints with users that guide them from awareness to brand advocate within a single integrated campaign.

Key Takeaways

  • Retargeting isn’t just a bottom-of-the-funnel tactic. It can be used to bring in top-of-the-funnel leads.
  • Most retargeting campaigns end with a conversion event. However, some brands can choose to continue engaging their converted users if they’d like to.
  • If used correctly, retargeting can be a great tool to drive brand awareness and create brand advocates. If used incorrectly, however, retargeting can tarnish the brand.

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