This post is a guest post by Nan Gibbons
Most everyone who has used a computer to search for information, from looking up details about a book club recommendation to searching for a birthday gift, has experienced remarketing. Also known as retargeting, the ad-driven process is a way for businesses to draw lost business back to a website, no matter the type of product they are presenting to consumers. Relevant ads based upon a customer’s search history are strategically placed across the search engine’s network, ideally resulting in a customer’s return visit to a site.
Consider a father who turns to Google to find a birthday present for his soccer-loving daughter. He researches custom-made jerseys, cleats, and soccer balls, but – essentially the online version of a window shopper – he doesn’t have time to actually purchase anything. His return visits to his search engine will result in targeted advertising, such as announcements about a local soccer club looking for members or a discount offer for a store who sells athletic equipment. While users can prevent this information from being collected in their computer’s cookies, retargeting seems to be the best way to truly meet customer demand.
Remarketing is an excellent way for a company to tailor their message to “shopping cart abandoners,” the technical term for the aforementioned father who showed interest in several products but was, for whatever reason, called away before he could make a purchase. The advertising phenomenon is widespread across search engines and also pops up on sites like Facebook. A user whose status message mentions what they’re going to cook for dinner would likely begin to see ads targeted towards the products included in the meal, a website with easy-to-make recipes, or even a map to local restaurants who serve the food mentioned in the update. Retargeting simply helps reinforce customers’ brand loyalty by offering a subtle reminder to revisit an already-loved product.
The process of retargeting is a great way for businesses to improve the return on their advertising investment. Drawing visitors back to a website is an excellent chance to provide a new service, offer a deep discount, or announce an annual sale. Once back on the site, consumers will likely click around looking at options, especially with fresh and relevant content that will further pique their interest. Providing the best shopping experience possible for customers results in repeat business and a site that is highly marketable – which is especially useful for attracting new business.
Ads that are based upon personal preference may be the best and yet most subtle way of building a loyal customer base. Retargeting brings a member of the family home, an ever-changing-but-familiar location based upon the consumer’s preferences. With relevancy at the heart of the advertising mission, customers won’t find themselves pandered to or harangued for a sale. They will simply and willingly spend their dollars on that which their good friend has recommended.