Remarketing – Am I Being Stalked? Extraordinary Digital Thinkers, Part 5

March 12, 2014

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By Bruce Nickson

This post, which features John Hossack of Cardinal Path, is one of six posts that recap the February 20th BCAMA Evening Speaker Series event, The League of Incredible Digital Thinkers.

We all know that marketing is becoming more of a science than since forever. The “I don’t know which 50% of my budget I’m wasting” thing is becoming less and less believable. Besides, it was always about frequency. Now we measure, execute, measure again, adjust, and re-execute. The 50% is whittled down bit by bit, to…

People on the creative side of things really hate this, or at least look at the “measurability of things” as being an infringment on their creative ROI – that is, unless you see the math and measurability, which are now increasingly prevalent in marketing, as also being deeply creative.

John Hossack is bit of a quant. Actually, not a bit of a quant, a lot of a quant. He’s about numbers.

Remarketing works. It can be creepy, but it works.

But first, what is it? Remarketing, which is also known as behavioural retargeting, or retargeting, is defined as follows: In its most basic form, retargeting serves ads to people more frequently after they have left an advertiser’s website”. There is also an email aspect to this.

So… now that you know everything you need to know, here is John’s take:

OK. What percentage of users visit your site and don’t do what you want them to do? 60%, 80%, 85%? Do I hear 90%? You’re almost there – 96% of users don’t do what you want them to do. That’s rude. Pages from John Hossack_BCAMA_Remarketing-6Imagine 96% of people pulling into a gas station and not buying gas.

96% of people visit your site and then piss off. That pisses you off.

What to do? John suggests: “Build intelligent lists. That is, build lists of people who piss you off. Get in front of them again.”

Pages from John Hossack_BCAMA_Remarketing-5Build your remarketing campaigns around improved lists in sync with the sales cycle, the key words, intelligent segmentation, intelligent frequency capping, and cookies with expiry dates. And lots more.

Be a data geek. The list must take into account a number of attributes, behaviours, demographics and psychographics. Measure. Tag. Adjust the creative message.

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John adds, “Layer in geo-targeting. You can find that ‘people in Idaho love my shit!’ Why Idaho? Who knows? Find out. That’s how you increase your ROI by four figures.”

If you have the wrong list, everything falls apart. You can build lists of people who return your product and hurt your margin. Don’t talk to them (obviously).

John Hossack_BCAMA_Remarketing_Page_11However, remarketing has some pretty strong pushback, including from one of the other Extraordinary Digital Thinkers. Sandy Fleischer of Pound & Grain. Sandy’s presentation included slides that said “Remarketing = Bad” and “The security camera of Internet marketing”.

John says, “He (Sandy) hates what we’re talking about. That is most likely because he had a bad experience with remarketing.”

John admits that there is a bit of a creep factor, and there some scary things, not least those associated with people’s feeling about Internet behavioural privacy.

However, let’s circle back. 96% of people leave your site without doing what you want them to do. That number alone is a call to action. John suggests how to remarket without the creep factor and without the intrusions causing reputation destruction.

Stand by for the final instalment of The League of Extraordinary Digital Thinkers.

The next BCAMA Breakfast Speaker Series event is Next Generation Digital Storytelling on Thursday, March 27, 2014.