6 Key Benefits of Retargeting for Brand Awareness and Sales

retargeting

Ever wonder what happens to all those people who visit your website but never call, email you or fill out a short application? How about those “opens” you track in your email campaigns? Where did they all go? There are many reasons why people don’t take the time to pursue the next step with your company, whether that be filling out a short form application if you’re a retail lender or requesting a demo if you’re a tech vendor and so on. They could be comparison shopping, conducting research on a specific topic, casually browsing, maybe had a poor user experience, got distracted, couldn’t find the information they were looking for and much more.

Whatever the reason, the bottom line is they’re now gone. They left your sales funnel. The first impression you made is quickly forgotten once they move on. Retargeting technology gives you that golden opportunity to make a second, third, fourth impression and more.

What is retargeting?

It’s very likely that everyone reading this post has been retargeted before. For those of you unfamiliar with this term, retargeting is the practice of targeting consumers with online advertising based on their previous online activity. For example, if you visit the website of a mortgage company, you might notice that upon leaving that website and browsing the internet, an ad for the lender you visited earlier may appear, trying to direct you back to their website to (hopefully) fill out a short application, or “convert.”

This is called “site retargeting” and is one of the most popular types of retargeting. Site retargeting is nothing new and some retail lenders have been using it for years. A select few B2B marketers in the mortgage industry are warming up to it quickly and discovering the advantages which we’ll cover soon. Other types of retargeting (search, social, email, CRM and more) will be covered in a subsequent blog post.

How does retargeting technology actually work?

Let’s say you visit the website of a retail mortgage lender, one of several you plan to investigate based upon recommendations you received. Once you land on that website, a tracking tag on the page(s) you visit places a “cookie” in your browser. This tracking tag is inserted by a retargeting company like AdRoll, Fetchback or another. This cookie is a piece of JavaScript code that resides on the page(s) you visited and is designed to follow you across the web, incrementally serving up ads to you in real time created by the lender whose site you visited.

Now, when you load a web page that has ad space for sale on it, in real time the retargeting company will bid on that ad space and serve up the mortgage company’s ad instead of another you might have seen if they have the winning bid. All of this happens in a millisecond.

If you were to click on that ad and revisit the page, fill out a short application and submit it, then the mortgage company’s website would (or should) insert a “burn pixel” in your browser so that you no longer receive their ads. A burn pixel is a snippet of code that will untag you so that you no longer receive ads…one of several best practices associated with retargeting.

Now that you understand how it works…

Here are some key statistics you should be aware of:

  • 26% of customers who are exposed to retargeting will return to the website according to study conducted by SeeWhy. Only 8% return without retargeting.
  • Website visitors who are retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert on your website (source: CMO.com, November 2013).
  • 42% of retargeting is used to build brand awareness (source: Chicago-Digiday State of the Retargeting Industry Report [SOTI], May 2014)
  • 63% of marketers take retargeting budgets from display advertising (source: Chicago-Digiday State of the Retargeting Industry Report [SOTI], May 2014).
  • Facebook Exchange is the #1 platform for social retargeting (source: Chicago-Digiday State of the Retargeting Industry Report [SOTI], May 2014).
  • The average click-through rate for display ads is .07% and the average click-through rate for retargeted ads is .7% (source: CMO.com, November 2013).

Compelling, right? Retargeting historically has most often been used and is highly effective in selling products with very short sales cycles…like shoes, electronics, furniture and the like. However, the practice is quickly gaining momentum with B2B and B2C marketers that provide services with much longer sales cycles.

For example, in the mortgage industry, sales cycles are much longer because you’re dealing with people entering the market to buy a home conducting their investigations and vendors of any number of products or services. People who visit the site of a retail lender rarely convert on the first visit. Likewise, people responsible for making new technology purchase decisions at mortgage companies will take time to investigate their options and learn. Therefore, your retargeting strategy will be much different and more geared towards building and maintaining awareness so that you are top-of-mind when the time to purchase has arrived.

For example, your strategy may have a longer window of retargeting with a much different impression frequency and timing than would be necessary if you were selling, say, a juicer or a pair of athletic shoes. Therefore, “best practices” will be different generally speaking for any type of company, B2B or B2C, in the mortgage industry.

6 Key Benefits of Leveraging Ad Retargeting whether you’re a B2B or B2C company in the mortgage industry:

  1. Build brand recognition/recall: Given the longer sales cycle for services and products in the mortgage industry, retargeting can be a great way to stay in front of your prospects, keeping them “warm” while building up awareness of your brand. This awareness will also add lift to other campaign elements offline as well as online. This approach helps build trust in your brand, a lot of which is needed for bigger decisions.
  1. Second chance to make an impression: As mentioned at the beginning of this article, there are many reasons why people don’t convert (or “bounce” from your site)…maybe they’re not at the right point yet in the buying cycle, they may have gotten distracted by a phone call or something else happening in the office, they might be shopping around or maybe they’re ready to start the purchase process but simply forgot the name of your company. In any of these cases, retargeting is valuable.

Another reason for a site bounce could even be that the visitor didn’t stick around long enough to learn about all of the great features of your product or service. In this case you can retarget this prospect with additional information about the various features of your offering. One of them may strike a chord and encourage them to revisit your site and give your offering deeper consideration!

  1. Cross-selling opportunities: Many technology companies in the mortgage industry sell more than one type of software that are often complementary to each other. Therefore, after an initial conversion for one product, you may then retarget that same customer with ads for one of your other products or even encourage them to purchase product upgrades.
  1. Retargeting creates another point of contact: Many of us have heard that it takes 7 or more points of contact to convert a lead, right? Therefore, if your prospect has already been contacted through snail mail, has one of your business cards, has received a phone call from you and has been emailed in the past, then ad retargeting provides another point of contact with your brand…or several more points depending upon how you set up your campaign. All of these points of contact together serve to enhance brand recall, familiarity and trust.
  1. Selecting your audience: With typical display advertising, you can’t select who can see your ads. With ad retargeting, you have much more control. http://www.seroka.com/power-ad-retargeting-brand-awareness-sales/ http://www.seroka.com/power-ad-retargeting-brand-awareness-sales/ http://www.seroka.com/power-ad-retargeting-brand-awareness-sales/Your campaign is set up to only target those who have viewed a specific page or pages on your website. These people are then targeted only with very specific messages relating back to the page(s) they visited.
  1. Segmenting and updating your clients/customers: If you have the email addresses of current or past clients that fit a certain criteria you’ve set, you can target them with ads (and of course an email campaign) encouraging them to take a certain action.

One example could be a technology upgrade. Another example could be encouraging mortgagees in your portfolio who received financing in a higher rate environment to consider refinancing at a current lower rate.

There are clearly many advantages to retargeting…but this should never be a stand-alone tactic. Retargeting combined with many other communications tactics in a comprehensive strategy will give your brand and conversion rates incredible lift!