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I’m sure most of you are familiar with the concept of remarketing or retargeting to some extent. Recall the e-commerce retailer showed you the exact item you were coveting, not the one you quickly browsed, but the one you looked at several times over the past few weeks and keep coming back to. Some do find it creepy but personally, I love it when Facebook suggests an App I didn’t know about that makes my life more efficient, and a lot of consumers are starting to feel the same way. Your company’s digital presence has become an important component to your marketing strategy. Fairly recent shifts in have resulted in greater accessibility to programmatic media buying for small, young and growing businesses. Digital media can also tell you a lot about your consumers or user base and inform future decision-making that’s defendable through data and analytics.
This workshop will cover the basics of retargeting in addition to other types of targeted media, which fall under the same umbrella. My goal is provide you with an overview of the digital marketing landscape and tie it back to how you’re likely to analyze or engage with it as a start-up working with agencies and vendors managing campaigns on your behalf. I’ll give you opportunities to ask questions as we go but we’ll have a more formal Q&A session at the end.
This is what retargeting looks like. Essentially, it allows you to capture the traffic going to your site and show advertisements after they leave and are browsing the web. Very simple. The technology enables you to promote your brand and remind that user to complete whatever action you wanted them to and didn’t. Before we move forward, I’ll briefly explain how the technology works.
This is a pixel, or many of them. Pixels are the visual components of what we see on the internet. However, when we’re referring to pixels that capture site visitor data, we’re talking about a 1x1 square similar to what you see here, except that has no visual representation on the page. This pixel contains code which allows you to capture important but not personally identifiable information, i.e., the people who are coming to your website. (leaving without doing what you want them to, whether that be signing up for your email newsletter, purchasing a pair of headphones or downloading your app. ) The pixel delivers your site visitors information in the form of a cookie ID in real time so that you can serve them targeted messaging reminding them of your brand and encourage them to come back.
Secondary Points: - Pixels have been around as long as the internet but only recently have they been popularized and available as a way to advertise for advertisers of all sizes. - If you know what to look for, you can see what pixels are on a site and tracking you when you visit, but, you can’t read the information captured unless it’s your pixel.
Retargeting on Facebook works the same way that Site Retargeting does. The codes and audience used can and typically are the exact same. The main difference is the channel. Facebook is dominant in the day-to-day life for most people who use the internet regularly. Facebook has been able to monetize this by selling ad space. They’ve been so successful in doing so that they have their own exchange.
Secondary Points: - Facebook is a common compliment to most site retargeting campaigns. - Differences between Newsfeed & RHC, and challenges to smaller advertisers in Newsfeed. *perhaps could also be used as an example in ‘being intellectually honest’
Fairly recently, a young company, regardless of their industry had a store front or physical space which may or may not have also represented themselves on the internet. You could promote your company to those in the physical vicinity, which is likely, who you were trying to appeal to. Businesses are increasingly existing solely on the Internet, when someone comes to your website, that’s valuable. If that user leaves without taking any action, and later forgets you existed, that’s a lost opportunity. Retargeting prevents that from happening.
I like to use the word intellectually honest a lot when I talk about display advertising, there are two parts to this:
*I love this story but I think I will tie this back to Newsfeed vs. RHC for small advertisers.
The way in which we all use the internet has changed Advertising fundamentally. I once attended a talk given by the CEO of a young video content company. They specialize in relevant placements for your digital videos that make the content seem organic. He spoke about his first huge deal, from a motion picture production house. They were going to be running trailers for some upcoming blockbuster films. The creative sat him down and showed him this incredible trailer which started off just black with some loud thuds in the background. Over the course of the 30-60 second video, the intensity built up exponentially. The issue, which the creative director didn’t realize, was that at 5 seconds, the viewer has the ability to skip the ad to go onto what they were actually trying to watch. They started the video over and at 5 seconds the screen was still completely dark and from an audio standpoint you’d only heard a few looming sounds. The point of this is, despite your own opinions of what you expect to work, in digital, you need to and can take a step back and figure out how your users are reacting and evaluate what is or what isn’t working using data and logic.
The second part to this point speaks to another way in which advertising in the digital space has changed things so much. Prior to joining Retargeter, I worked at a performance driven digital agency. My first large client, was very young and innovative, working for a company that was very much stuck in 1970. They spent over 50 million dollars a year on free standing newspaper inserts, versus the 1.5 million allocated towards digital. They actually attributed 100% of all sales to those ads, despite having no evidence to back them up and had always had that mindset. Her goal was to change that way of thinking, and she did. The beautiful thing about digital media is that everything is attributable to one or several points of contact. As a business owner, or strategist, you can make informed decisions to increase growth as well as your return on investment.
The ice bucket challenge, although not paid media like retargeting, is a perfect and very top of mind example of how powerful your digital footprint can be. People want to be engaged, not just with their wallets but with their minds and their hearts.
We’ve just covered the basics of two types of Site Retargeting, those that originate from your site. This is the best data to remarket off of because it’s yours. These are actually the users who are interested in you.
CRM retargeting is another type of retargeting which typically leverages first party data. This allows you to upload a CRM database, or more particular categories of email addresses within one database, and serve them targeted messaging to try and re-engage them with your company.
For example, perhaps you had a soft launch where you collected a lot of email addresses for an e-newletter containing updates about your product or service. However, you’ve found that open rates are low and engagement/traffic isn’t happening. This would provide you with a another channel or way to stay top of mind.
Early stage companies typically don’t have enough Site Traffic to scale acquisition driven campaigns and sometimes even companies who have grown out of the early stages don’t either. There are a lot of ways to promote awareness from what users call the ‘top of the funnel’ but, third party data is one way to bridge this gap. Essentially, third party data means that you are buying data from a licensed organization who serves as a conduit of information. They anonymize the user information for individuals, so that there is no privacy information shared.
A benefit, within the context of this workshop it that it’s highly integrated into your other digital media initiatives and can be ‘optimized’ in the same way. Historically, you could target certain types of inventory or even domains, but you didn’t have much control aside from that. The amount of detail in the data that’s available is vast and the variations you can test to drive efficiency is very powerful. However, this information can also be purchased by most marketers so, your strategy really depends on your ability to extract learnings about your consumers and communicate them to those that are managing these campaigns for you.
Audience targeting allows you to target the personas/characteristics you think would be a good fit for your business and then optimize towards the characteristics that are generating engagement. To take this back to my initial explanation of third party data. Say, for example, say you’re cross-fit circa 1990, even though it didn’t exist. You might have purchased display inventory on espn.com. However, that doesn’t ensure the right type of audience is actually seeing your ads. Third party data allows you to get very specific. You can target Men & Women, between the ages of 20-35 who are highly active, interested in health & wellness, with an income that is high enough to warrant paying for cross-fit but not so high that they’d have a personal trainer, who live in the locations where you have clubs opening.
Other people’s first party data You know the source of the cookie pool Strategic Partnerships- not anyone with access to a DSP can buy this data. Unique & reliable, harder to secure. This can be first party cookie pools (someone else’s site retargeting audience) or even other people’s CRM databases.
Overexposure quickly results in decreased campaign performance, which is why it’s almost always advisable to use a frequency cap. Setting a frequency cap will limit the number of times tagged users see your ads and will prevent potential customers from feeling bored, overwhelmed, or stalked. Appropriate frequency caps vary between advertisers and can be tested over time and analyzed through data.
Burn Codes Segmenting by Product Type, Interests & Site Browsing Behavior Audience segmentation allows you to tailor ads to users in different stages of the purchase funnel. Segmentation can be as simple as differentiating between two pages on your site, or as complex as showing SKU-dependent advertisements (dynamic).
Click Through Rates decrease after running the same set of ads for long periods of time. After seeing the same ads again and again, a user’s interest is no longer piqued and the ads are more likely to blend into the background. By rotating your ad creative every few months, you can easily avoid experiencing these dips in performance.
Simple, Clean with a Clear Call to Action
Create a Sense of Urgency
Highlight Seasonal Promotions
Making hypotheses and testing them in your campaigns is an important way to learn about your consumers. When running this type of test within your display campaigns, you divide the user base by the desired percentages and separate the test groups so that there is no crossover influence. For an A/B test this might be a 50%-50% split, if there were three elements it could be 33%-33%-34%. This strategy can be used to test things like banner creative or the structure of a lead form on a landing page.
Don’t use too many, by testing multiple vendors to run the same types of campaigns, you’re over-serving your audience and driving up media costs. It will make your own assessment more confusing, and it will hinder their ability to hit your goals.
Make sure they have the support/resources to educate your team and the transparency to give you meaningful information. Regular calls and check ins are standard. Both parties should have aligned interests and be transparent with one another.
Communicate with them, share business intelligence that they can leverage, concerns and also successes.
This is probably the most important best practice. In order to run successful digital campaigns you need to understand and communicate your goals or KPIs. Common examples are Click Through Rate, Cost Per Acquisition, Cost Per Click, Return On Ad Spend & Total Conversions.
Understand the conversion attribution models your vendors have in place, the cross-pollination between different campaigns and put in place analytics systems to connect the dots between different marketing programs for your business.
Optimizations: 9/19 Bid Strategy: Set up dynamic bidding on recency to increase CTR Implemented 20 impression frequency cap Creatives: Deactivated all under-performing creatives ad units
Maybe: Need to Ask Mike Where These Were Pulled From: Browser- Chrome drove most clicks, Firefox lowest performing browser for this campaign Mobile device reporting- Accessed iPhone, iPad, Androids and Tablets
9/19 Optimizations: Adjusted frequency cap to 20 Dynamic bidding based on recency Increased bids to have a larger share of voice
In the Challenges, I noted that audience size was a challenge, this ties back to third party data and the use cases for it.
While 30k uniques is very respectable, our pixels weren’t placed long before launch, so the audience we were able to cookie wasn’t driving enough traffic/engagement to make an impact.
Therefore, I launched a prospecting campaign targeting women, on sites that had professional/business content, in the San Francisco DMA only. Frequency Caps were set low, at 10 per user.
Overall, we were able to generate over 1200 unique clicks. Once users click through they were ’burned’ from prospecting and funneled into site retargeting.
20 days is too short of a runway to have a meaningful impact, next flight should start 8 weeks before the event.
Prospecting campaign did REALLY well, next flight should include this from the launch, perhaps even slightly earlier with ‘branded’ (non-conference related) content to capture users and leverage them in Site Retargeting/Conference specific initiative.
Best performing types of content were predominantly in the finance category. On 9/23, underperforming inventory categories were removed, these included: ‘Women’ ‘Trending Topics’ and not as significantly ‘Careers’.
Optimizations began in May which resulted in a temporary increase before the campaign went from ‘learn phase’ to ‘optimized’,
In May, the attribution window for conversions also went from 21 days to 7 days, for both post view & post click conversions, which increased the CPA (i.e., only 1/3 of previous conversions measured were being counted).
Optimal frequency cap for CPA is 30 (although not for total conversions) so the balance of working towards both goals simultaneously is ongoing.
June: Inventory exclusions to eliminate inventory sources with high impressions and low engagement. Optimized bidding strategy After testing, implemented 7 day inclusion window for repeat customers (combination of campaign and 2020AVE intelligence) Creative optimizations
Continuous tweaks to all of the above whenever an increase occurs.
Optimizations mirror some of which occurred in Site Retargeting. There was a larger focus on updated creative copy to focus on seasonal offers & promotions.
Optimal frequency cap for FBX was higher, at 50 impressions over a lifetime.
Assuming this information is new to you, a lot of the topics covered might seem intertwined and complex to distinguish from one another, because they are. Typically the reporting interface or Account Manager you’re working with is managing all of this in the background. Some if it is manual and some of it is algorithm based- from my experience it should always be a combination of both. These concepts are important for anyone in a decision making role to understand however, it’s unlikely that you’ll be responsible for every optimization lever and variable that we discussed. The above graph illustrates a baseline interaction between the various touch-points which enable digital media to hit your users. The following brief demo video will tie that back into a likely user experience.
Retargeting 101: Women 2.0 Conference Workshop
MARLO SCHNEIDER | SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER
Learn the basics about retargeting
and how to leverage display media
to fuel your startup’s growth.
• Types of Targeted Media
• Best Practices
• Case Studies
• Question & Answer
6 | Understand Your Goals &
Measurement: Click through conversions are measured by click through to conversion
Measurement: View through windows help define VTC attribution. For example, a 14 day
view through window will attribute conversions to a creative if it was viewed within 14 days of
Drive awareness for the Women 2.0 SF conference by re-engaging
site visitors though Site Retargeting & Facebook Retargeting.
Key Performance Indicators
Clicks & Click Through Rate (CTR%)
Timeline: 19 Days
Conversion Tracking: Not Available
Audience Size: ~ 30,000 Unique Visitors/Month
Women 2.0: Full Funnel Engagement
Prospecting Site Retargeting Facebook
Launch further in advance of the event.
Lead with a prospecting campaign to drive users down the funnel.
Top Performing Sites (Prospecting):
Work out conversion tracking in advance.
Drive site visitors to complete their purchases and encourage
repeat purchases through Site & Facebook Retargeting.
Key Performance Indicators
Goals: eCPA & Total Conversion Increase MoM
Site Retargeting CPA Goal $20.00
Facebook Retargeting CPA Goal $10.00
Low average purchase price resulted in aggressive CPA goals from Day 1.
Budget constraints left little room for prospecting however, a goal was to increase gross sales.
Limited understanding of company margins resulted in goals being somewhat of a moving target.
Leverage seasonal sales and promotions through banner creative (insert labor
Advertise ongoing offers like free shipping & 20% off (insert examples)
Reintegrate first time customers back into remarketing campaigns after 7 days
after they’ve made their purchase to re-engage them.
Weekly communication on MTD CPA & Total Conversions allowed both parties
to have high visibility when campaigns were trending in the wrong direction, and
course correct immediately.