Retargeting 2.0 – Leveraging First Party Intent


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There are many weapons in the digital marketer’s arsenal but few are as promising as retargeting.

The beauty of retargeting is the ability to stay top of mind with your site visitors. Nearly all visitors leave a site without some form of desired action: the average conversion rate for a website is around 2 percent. Retargeting addresses this problem by attracting visitors back to the site with the goal of converting them. According to CMO and Software Advice, retargeted customers are 70 percent more likely to convert than customers who do not view retargeted ads.

Yet there are still challenges to overcome in order to take retargeting to the next level.

In this post, I will explore how first party visitor intent is a key factor for improving retargeting campaigns.

The Cost of Getting it Wrong

The primary objective of retargeting is to drive conversions, so many digital marketers focus on displaying conversion-themed ads to retargeted audiences. However, our research shows that only 15 percent of visitors to a typical ecommerce site have the intent to purchase in that session. Retargeting all visitors with some form of ‘buy’ ad means that 85 percent of retargeted visitors will see a message that doesn’t match their needs.

Aligning retargeting campaigns with visitor intent is important. According to a study by InSkin Media and RAPP Media, people are nearly four times more likely to buy if they see a relevant ad during the research phase. The same study found that if a consumer sees an ad after the product is purchased, it’s nearly four times more likely to discourage future purchases.

Irrelevant ads not only discourage visitors from making a purchase, they also lead to negative exposure and banner blindness, which can negatively impact the performance of your retargeting campaigns.

Behavior Has a Blind Spot

Today, many marketing technologies claim to leverage intent. In fact, they are using common visitor behavioral traits to infer intent. What does this mean? In simple terms, it means using behavioral cues, such as a visit to the cart, to make an educated guess about the visitor’s intent. A visit to the cart might seem like an indication of purchase intent, but, according to our research, 56 percent of people who visit the cart have no immediate intent to purchase. Labeling people who visit the cart as purchase intenders results in misclassifying these visitors in the wrong segment: this means that they will consequently be shown misaligned ads. Behavioral data has a blind spot. Only with a true understanding of visitor intent can you align your campaigns with what matters to visitors.

Retargeting 2.0 – Intent Driven Retargeting

The advertising landscape is evolving and sophisticated digital marketers are realizing that behavioral data is not enough for effective one-to-one interactions. Increasingly, companies are looking for quality first party data to increase the performance of their retargeting campaigns.

At iPerceptions, we specialize in first party visitor intent. By leveraging iPerceptions’ Active Recognition Technology, it is now possible to leverage first party visitor intent to recognize the intent of anonymous website visitors in real-time. A visitor’s recognized intent is then shared with a DSP, such as AdGear Trader, where campaigns are aligned to that user’s specific intent. With Active Recognition, you can recognize purchase intenders and create content that aligns with their needs and desires in order to increase the likelihood of conversion. In addition to purchase intenders, you can recognize other types of visitor intent, like researchers and support seekers. You can pick up on pre-sale signals from visitors in the research phase and then drive lead-nurturing initiatives and set a budget accordingly. For example, a visitor in the research phase can be retargeted by a series of sequential ads over a certain number of days with the ultimate goal of leading this prospect to a sale decision.

Final Thoughts

Today, digital marketers have an enormous amount of data at their fingertips, but it’s important to understand that not all data is created equal. One of the most valuable first party data sources available is customer feedback. Until recently this data would sit dormant in reports, however today, with innovative approaches such as iPerceptions Active Recognition for Retargeting, customer feedback such as visitor intent can be leveraged in real-time to create more relevant and engaging retargeting. The next time you are evaluating your campaigns, think about how leveraging the voice of your customers can make a difference. Trust me, it will.

First published in the AdGear blog

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Duff Anderson
Duff Anderson is a visionary in digital Voice of the Customer research with over 20 years' experience. As SVP and Co-founder at iPerceptions, Duff is responsible for providing expert advice to organizations on how to gain a competitive advantage across the digital customer lifecycle and become more customer-centric.


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