Remarketing Revisited Revised Rethought

Bob Dumouchel

repetition is marketingRemarketing is the repetition tool of PPC and it comes with lots of controls for your strategies and tactics. Visit Amazon and look at cameras and as we all know you will see ads for cameras for days – this is remarketing implemented. If you overdo this you will alienate your prospects but done just right it can create traffic worth talking about.

In February 2012 we published our first article on Remarketing. It remains a good introduction today because the basic building blocks have not changed. Here we will extend that base with the strategies and tactics that have evolved since those early days.  

Marketing Your Business is a Conversation

Marketing’s goal is to establish a conversation with a prospect and then manage the conversation for the life of the relationship. The conversation goal is to help them understand the value that your business brings to them. The marketing ecosystem is simply the conversation plan. This conversation consists of many steps with twenty or more individual messaging segments being common. If you think your business goes from hello to a closed sale you do not yet understand the challenge that you face. Driven by the customer’s wants each conversation can be unique although they often share many of the segments.

Remarketing is not a “Hello” service

A “Hello” service is a process that starts a conversation and remarketing uses that to continue the conversation. Remarketing should be thought of in the context of the marketing ecosystem and the purpose of the ecosystem is to start and maintain a conversation with your market. Remarketing does not start a conversation its role is to continue the conversation. Remarketing has to be primed by another traffic source Like any ecosystem discussion you have to look at what feeds this stage and what this stage feeds. Inbound sources to the remarketing commonly include organic traffic, paid search, social media, display.  

Building Audiences

Remarketing starts with audience building and it’s one of the great strategy debates. The issue is one of balance because you want your audiences to be as big as necessary but no bigger than that. Take this blog article as an example. The purpose of the article is to help you understand an area that we market our expertise in. By sharing our knowledge you get a value and we get permission to have a conversation with you. This is a classic win/win. We have had clients that want to withhold their knowledge from the market because they feared that if they talked about what they do prospects will just do it themselves. In some cases, this is true however those customers are inclined to DIY the service is going to never do business anyway so no real loss.

Similar Content Attracts Similar People

remarketing audienceRemarketing works because your audience has expressed, through their behavior, a commonality with your message. It’s great traffic but often lacks volume. There is a strategy that can improve this. One data element you get back from a remarketing campaign is the placement sites your ad appeared on. Use this to drive a Display Network campaign to pick up the other traffic on that site. If you subscribe to the “Birds of a Feather Flock Together” logic then the others on this site are likely to be just like your remarketing audience. Design into this process a low threshold conversion such as a time on site goal and you can perfect your prospecting with a much larger audience.

To recap:

  1. Remarketing Campaign creates placements
  2. Placements extended into the high volume Display Network.
  3. Measure with engagement goal of time on site conversions.

Evaluate Placements

Item 2 in the list above requires the application of some common sense. What you get in automated placements are suspect sites for specific targeting. A quick visit to the site will give you a good idea of the fit of the content to your message. This is a lot of labor but after the first few months, the volume of new sites will drop.

Negative Audiences

Audiences come in two flavors – wait for it – positive and negative. In Google-speak Positives are called Audiences and Negatives are called an Exclusions. This makes for a very powerful tool when applied to a campaign. One use case for this is a promotion of new material on our website where we want to put this back in front of prior visitors to our site. Once they come back to read the new content we want to stop bothering them so we use a negative audience aka Exclusion to stop the ad delivery.

Remarketing Group Management

If you want to really kick it up with remarketing you have to get comfortable with audiences and how to group these to fit the business sales pipeline. Let’s say you design a campaign where you want to deliver a series of messages to your audience. With each month you want a series of messages. Start by creating groups for each month with different lifespans:

By setting it up like this you can create any group you want by using positive and negative audiences. If you want just 90-120 days the formula is D-C, want 30-60 days simple B-A. You can do all sorts of creative things with this by designing drip campaigns that flow through this logic.

Be Present NOT a Pest

We like remarketing because it works by building brand recognition with frequency but that is also a risk. Left running at full speed a remarketing campaign can alienate your audience. Use proper cyber-manners and be present but not a pest. The default on this today is 3 impressions per day per ad group but it can be even less than that and still work.

frequency cappingBalance Your Remarketing Goals

To Click or Not Click, that is the Questionremarketing goals

Remarketing often plays a role in brand building and the value there is created by impressions, not clicks. Sometimes you want a weak call to action to increase the impressions and lower the CTR and its relative the spend rate. If you go too far with this Google will not serve up your ad and you will lose market share. A strong call to action will burn up your budget and reduce your impressions. This is a classic balance challenge or what I call a string problem. Pulling on one problem moves to the other end.   


https://gettorchlight.com/remarketing/ – Original Article published Feb 2012.  

https://gettorchlight.com/my-goal-is-to-fail-less/ – Article on the 20 Steps of a Sale.