How to Know What Creative to Use for Retargeting
by Dave Resnick
Retargeting, when done correctly, is one of the biggest game-changers in the world of display advertising. The lynchpin of a successful retargeting campaign is showing creative that resonates with your audience as they travel along each stage of the customer journey. Here’s how to know what creative to use for your next retargeting campaign.
The Retargeting Conundrum: The Problem of Wasted Impressions
First, even for all of its merits, retargeting does have some weaknesses, one of which is the problem of wasted impressions. For example, let’s say you leave a travel website after booking and receive a retargeting message encouraging you to book the trip you just researched and purchased. This is a prime example of wasted impressions, because the advertiser’s basically “preaching to the converted” at that point.
A better move would have been to serve a retargeting ad to book a hotel, add a rental car, or possibly purchase tickets for a local attraction at their chosen destination. This same premise can apply to practically any business, whether it’s a dentist, a roofer, a casino, a restaurant, etc. By carefully refining your retargeting parameters, you can show a more relevant message that will drive the appropriate user behavior based on their previous activity.
Strategic Thinking: A Key to Retargeting Success
In a way, retargeting ads seem to exist on a tightrope–they work great when they’ve been properly optimized for relevance, but when they haven’t, they will produce little to no results, and may even annoy the end user.
For this reason, you have to take the time to carefully think through audience segmentation issues, and make adjustments to your campaigns accordingly. As mentioned above, advertising to visitors who’ve already converted can make your business look like it has amnesia, but if you add a conversion URL in order to filter out visitors who have already converted, you can then move to the next phase of your engagement with those customers. By thinking strategically about all of the potential touchpoints that can happen after the conversion, you can serve up creative that really means something to the consumer based on their recent actions.
Getting the Most Out of Your Retargeting: Dynamic Creative Optimization
As retargeting has matured, so have the technologies that enable marketers to optimize their efforts. One of the most effective tools to emerge as of late is Dynamic Creative Optimization (DCO), a display ad technology that automatically adjusts and optimizes your ad creative in real time based on a multitude of factors including user behavior, geographic data, device type, time of day, etc.
As you can imagine, setting up DCO ads can be a highly technical process, so it’s a good idea to seek a partner with retargeting expertise to help you leverage this innovative technology to its fullest potential.
Bottom line: retargeting requires careful planning and consideration in order to be effective. By thinking through the entire conversion journey (including what happens after a purchase), you can fine-tune your retargeting efforts to display the most relevant creative, and avoid wasting valuable impressions in the process.