Strategy! I know I keep repeating myself, but I'm just not ready to stop due to the ever-growing noise of these 'new marketing experts' continuing to get louder. Marketing strategy is essential, it should be based on fundamental, well thought-out principals and grounded in insights, analysis and a deep understanding of the situation and objectives at hand. Once you have done your due diligence in strategy, then you can start to consider some truly powerful new tactical methods that can drive significant improvements in the responses and results of your various marketing tactics and initiatives.
Obviously the digital and online space is an exciting one, giving marketers who operated in the late 90's unprecedented access to tools, systems and technologies that we only ever dreamt about back then. The most significant advantage of this space is the relative ease of attributing results and responses to initiatives through strong, accurate and specific data. Cost-efficiency is another key advantage, where marketers now have the ability to reach and engage with increasing numbers of highly targeted and segmented audiences for a fraction of the price of traditional media.
I want to provide a very quick, high-level overview of Online Re-marketing for those of you looking for a simple summary, rather than a lot of technical jargon. As a marketer, all you need is to understand how it works and how it is implemented so that you can then decide how to apply it within your overall strategy to support your planned campaigns and initiatives.
What is re-marketing? (in a nutshell)
The process of online re-marketing essentially aims to create continuity between your marketing messages/activities and your target audience's web browsing experience in order to maintain brand awareness and increase the probability of converting your targeted audience into a lead.
Re-marketing can be driven through search engines, most commonly Google, which tracks visitors landing on a specific web page and generates cookies to track that user as they continue to browse online and across other sites. Social Media also provides re-marketing opportunities with the added benefit of allowing email addresses to be used as an identifier of the unique user. Social Media channels like Facebook have quite powerful re-marketing capabilities and can be highly targeted as well.
How it works?
The best and most simple way to explain how re-marketing works is to illustrate the Target Audience User-Experience, showing their typical browsing journey. The diagram below illustrates the typical intended user-experience for your target audience that is created by implementing re-marketing:
As you can see in the diagram above, the process of re-marketing is not really that hard. So how do you take this simple process and make it a powerful conversion tool? Here is how:
1. Effective Targeting
The more segmented and tailored your campaign is, the higher the likelihood that your re-marketing with resonate directly with your target audience segments.
2. Engaging Messaging
Ads and messages sound like simple communications pieces, but you must squeeze every bit of juice out of them. Take the time to craft your messaging and be sure to get the right combination of features, benefits and value. Here's a hint... value, value, value!
3. Outstanding Creative
Again, I see numerous online ads on a daily basis and creating them is technically simple. But one thing is for sure, phenomenal design and creative can stop you in your tracks, even if you don't give a toss about what the ad is selling. Invest in powerful creative and if you don't have capability in-house, outsource it.
4. Rigorous Analysis
Your re-marketing results will be significantly influenced by the way that it is set-up and managed. Spend the required time in rigorous analysis so that your campaign is set up correctly and your messaging is highly tailored to get the maximum effect. This is a technical area so again, if you don't have strong internal skills, bring in the experts.
5. Pre-defined Lead Management
I've thrown this in as personal sore point, given the number of campaigns I've seen perform well, only to fall over due to poor lead management, follow-up and closing. Make sure you have everything lined up for when a lead finally converts and then set the wheels in motion to take that lead all the way through to purchase . Remember, this can still be a long road, so be sure to plan your end game and see it all the way through!
Key Cost Components (when outsourcing)
Depending on the size of your organisation and your internal skills and resources, you may need to source external support with setting up and executing your re-marketing strategy. This can be a real mine field navigating through providers, so ask tons of questions and make sure that you are clear about what is being done. The two components that you will need to pay are:
1. Management & Implementation
Everything from setting-up the re-marketing campaign, creating the banners, analysing and tweaking the campaign.
2. Advertising Costs
You will need to set a budget for advertising as re-marketing comes with costs per-click (CPCs). You can set a minimum budget and then top it up if you see the value and are happy with ROI.