Why marketers need to delve deeper than retargeting to stay relevant

Why marketers need to delve deeper than retargeting to stay relevant
Paul has overall responsibility for the sales and go-to-market strategy. Paul is passionate about using Experian data across all digital channels to provide better returns for clients and a better experience for customers. Paul joined Experian in 2001 as a Business Development Manager and progressed to managing sales teams of various sizes predominantly in the Retail space before becoming Sales Director in 2014.

Imagine a 46-year-old married father of two being approached by a shop assistant to talk about this season’s range of dresses, or an 80-year-old lady about the latest football boots.

They may be highly unlikely to want to know more or make a purchase, and it might even cause annoyance.

Likewise, they may feel slightly peeved if during their next holiday they were disturbed by someone trying to sell them a stay in the exact same hotel they were currently staying in.

They would also consider it a little strange to find out that their 10-year-old son was being bombarded by kitchen salesmen while he was out trying to catch Pikachu on Pokémon Go.

As ridiculous as these anecdotes sound, they happen every day. They, and thousands more examples like them, are going on now. Why? Because of retargeting.

What’s it all about?

Retargeting is the technique of putting ads and messages in front of people who have at some point visited your website. The assumption is that they showed interest once so they are more likely to want to come back and make a purchase.

A DMP is only as good as the data it has going into it, and it is widely argued that third party data is the key

Now, retargeting has got legs. For a number of years, it has worked successfully for marketers. In principle, it makes perfect sense to spend money on advertising and then increase the likelihood that you’re reaching people who are actually interested by targeting people who have already been to your website.

However, this method is not sophisticated enough to survive in the modern world. Customers – such as the examples introduced at the beginning of this piece – demand and expect a good service. That ‘good service’ includes relevancy. The ads the consumer sees should be relevant to them.

A basic retargeting campaign could do a lot of damage to a brand. It may pick up the people who it is relevant to but in that giant catchment you will certainly have a lot of people who don’t fit into your buying personas. What you follow up with them with is likely to be irrelevant – if not straight up annoying.

Playing ‘the numbers game’ like this and following up with every single person who visited your site is an unsophisticated and frankly risky way to operate. You’re attempting to use a sledgehammer to crack a small nut.

Shooting the retargeting challenge with data

So what’s key to retargeting? The ability to incorporate all the other contextual information you can gather on those individuals. The fact they once visited your website is simply another piece of data to include in the decision-making process.

Of course, there are challenges around bringing retargeting into the fold. Challenges that centre around data and how data is processed. This is because in order to make decisions around who to retarget you need to have a central pool of data from which to pull insights. A central view of individuals that include information from multiple sources.

Behavioural data, third party data and interaction data from all your channels.

This new joined up approach enables marketers to develop campaigns and programmes based on all the contextual data around each individual. Moving away from decisions based solely on a single interaction (such as visiting a website) and more on all those interactions together.

Role of the DMP

Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are a hot topic in the industry now, and are said to be the most effective and future proof solution. With a DMP you can drive your retargeting using a combination of customer data and third party data to get a more complete view of the customer you are retargeting.

The DMP sits in the middle and allows across the board insights to drive value in each channel. As far as retargeting goes it should reduce waste and irrelevancy.

Looping full circle back to the beginning of the article, with even the smallest amount of information about the 46 year-old man or the 80 year-old lady, it is obvious that they are somewhat unlikely to buy a dress and football boots, unless for a gift, and thus, any money spent advertising these to them is money wasted.

Indeed, using a DMP to input additional data marketers can make decisions based on contextual information beyond a single action and it’s only here that we start using tiny hammers.

A DMP is only as good as the data it has going into it, and it is widely argued that third party data is the key, as it provides detail around the individual that you simply won’t get from your own first party data.

In addition this is a complicated world and the prospect of getting a DMP is fairly intimidating, but don’t give up, there is help for those who need it.

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