Is RLSA The Great Equalizer?

For years, the leading search engines would not allow customers to bring their own customer data into search auctions. This not only held performance down generally, but also allowed the search “wizards,” or companies that invested the most in search tactics, to consistently dominate through higher quality scores.

Google has finally reversed this trend allowing advertisers to bring their own user segments into search through remarketing lists (RLSA), enabling customer value to enter the bidding equation. With this move, Google may have finally leveled the playing field, allowing marketers who have historically focused on more other marketing tactics, like email and display, to compete aggressively in search.

Here are some creative examples of how traditional list marketers are using RLSA to become major players in search:

  • Cart abandonment. By targeting only those customers who have abandoned their shopping carts, search marketers can narrow their keyword buys and high bids to customers who are already so familiar with the brand, they were one click away from purchase.
  • Deal seekers. There are certain customers who only buy when something is deeply discounted. These are worthwhile customers to retain, but aren’t necessarily those you’d want to pay high click costs on. Marketers can now take a more conservative approach to “re-acquire” these deal seekers.
  • Trendsetters. Marketers know who their “thought leaders” are. These customers buy newly-released products, pay in full, and share their purchases with others. It is extremely important that these customers continue to buy from you. RLSA allows you to place a very high value on these customers in the bidded marketplace.

Even in the early innings, RLSA shows a great deal of promise for all online marketers, and for those that can do complex customer segmentation, there is significant upside above and beyond the status quo.

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