Three Common Problems

you will face when Retargeting Customers

March 6, 2019 By

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It is an exciting time to be involved in digital sales and marketing; there are new tools constantly being released , and new methodologies to trial. While the right strategy and necessary toolset can vary depending on each company’s goals and situation, in this article we will explore 3 common issues facing sales and marketing retargeting campaigns.

An elusive and persistent goal of many marketing departments continues to be to deliver the right message to the right target at the right time. Consequently, precision remains a natural concern for any retargeting campaign. Additionally, modern consumers rightfully demand respect when it comes to when and why they are being contacted. Ignoring this can lead to increased costs, while simultaneously lowering customer satisfaction. Fortunately, modern technology can address these concerns, and help alleviate some risk.

Improving Precision

Retargeting campaigns involve identifying the right sub-audience from previous marketing efforts, understanding their needs, and delivering the right message. Ample qualified consumer behaviour data is required in order to achieve this elusive goal. Luckily, marketing has benefited from a large amount of new tools designed to help marketers acquire the right data, and implement complex campaigns.

This abundance of software tools, however, complicates selecting the right one for the job. Indeed, the right approach can vary depending on how current marketing efforts are setup. Too often a wide variety of data mining tools are implemented before identifying which KPIs truly contribute to your conversion goals. This broad approach limits the ability to customize messages to reflect each user’s individual history with the brand.

Analytics platforms provide insight into each individual’s unique behaviour and allow for more precise segmentation. This, in turn, helps with the development of better personalized retargeting offers. Without this customization, retargeting is likely to fall on deaf ears, as their own circumstances and desires are not being addressed. Worse still, opportune target populations may slip by unnoticed. As such, selecting the right tool is the first step towards achieving greater precision.

Managing Costs

Overly complicated retargeting campaigns can lead to mounting costs, as large audiences can lower the overall conversion rate and desired returns. Precision, as reviewed above, can help mitigate the costs of a retargeting campaign by limiting the target audience to those with a high likelihood of conversion, and by establishing what the right message to deliver might be. That said, retargeting does not necessarily need to be restricted to a small population, as modern technology helps address some of the downsides to mass-marketing.

Mass marketing messages often fail to address each individual’s unique situation in a reasonable manner or at a reasonable cost. A clear example is the sheer volume of inapplicable junk mail that arrives daily in our inboxes, or the irrelevant banner ads promoting products clearly not designed for your gender or age. Modern software can automate several aspects of messaging, allowing for personalized offers to be delivered at scale. By achieving a higher level of personalization and segmentation, offers are more likely to be accepted, improving overall conversion rates. Modern technology allows for this be done at scale by limiting the target group and by adjusting the value proposition to each individual. This way the cost per conversion is lower and value extracted higher, directly improving contribution margins.

Mass marketing in previous times also had the disadvantage of being confined to relatively static channels. With the right tools, marketers can now use channels that allow the recipient to review, and act on, presented offers in their own time. The growing field of inbound sales and marketing is a direct result of this tech-enabled opportunity. Outbound marketing still has a place, however, retargeting campaigns that do not employ aggravating interruption-based marketing benefit by not alienating their target audience. Instead, it focuses on delivering vital information, including reviews and recommendations, to the decision making process at a the time decisions are being made. While previously it was possible to accumulate this information, delivering it at the right time was tricky to impossible. Modern technology, such as deep learning and behavioral pattern recognition, has now made this possible. In short, nowadays you can use technology to assist in determining not only what to say, but also to whom and when to say it.

A great example of this is the bidding system used for online advertisement space. The bidding system is currently priced with the understanding that bidders lack precision due to incomplete knowledge. Machine learning, and other digital tools that bridge this gap in knowledge, dramatically improve conversion rates, and consequently lead to more efficient online advertising purchases. While the cost of this technology is not cheap, the returns are are well worth the effort. The estimated Internal Rate of Return (IRR) on these projects is often well above 3 times the hurdle rate as measured by the Weighted Average Cost of Capital (WACC). This financial benefit has time limit, however. As machine learning algorithms become a widespread tool, the vendors of online advertising space will adjust prices accordingly.

Customer Satisfaction

Customer satisfaction is critical for any retargeting campaign, as irritating your target audience typically does not lead to favorable conversions. Indeed, Google itself is implementing ratings penalties for sites that use obstructing pop-up style ads. Clarity, from the client’s perspective, is at the heart of good customer satisfaction. Building on the prior pillars of successful retargeting campaigns, demonstrating an understanding of their situation and needs helps establish a positive relationship. As mentioned above, this involves using the right tools to gain an understanding, and the right messages to communicate that understanding. To further design a positive customer perspective, transparency and access are paramount.

One manner of improving the conversion rate of retargeting campaigns involves personalizing messages. Additionally, technology can be used to help educate and allay any concerns your target audience might have. Ideally, retargeting offers should be easy to understand and helpful; products can be concisely explained and efficiently presented. Satisfaction, and conversion rates, can be improved by lowering the number of obstacles to overcome before understanding the message.

This concept can be equally applied to customer satisfaction. Your target audience will have a more favorable impression of the services offered if you allow for easy access to your products and personnel. Modern technology can allow for your target audience to dictate the time and manner of contact by enabling multiple interaction points with your company. In contrast to the older technology, such as call centers and direct mail, modern technology can enable direct discussions with qualified personnel at the click of a button. To truly tie the experience together, tools exist that offer your employees directly relevant information about each user initiating contact. This enables them to deliver higher levels of service, without the customer needing to take any further action. It is no longer necessary to dedicate time towards establishing the initial customer needs during a call or interaction. Instead, the tools exist to do this silently while the customer simply interacts with your company normally.

Call centers were designed to provide information and support, and to be sales powerhouses. Typically, they were not designed to be customer-centric, instead being a necessary evil to help close sales. This design makes sense when dealing with high per-minute service costs, and unclear benefits or outcomes. A more modern take would be to instead use cheaper artificial intelligence in the form of chatbots and virtual assistants to handle the routine and basic information requests. AI will not replace call centers or competent employees, rather it will free them to handle complex requests, and provide genuine top-class service.

Technology and software can also help improve services provided by refining the demands on your service centers, and other customer-facing roles. By providing more in-depth information about each request prior to directly involving your employees, the most valuable or important service requests can be prioritized. This frees your employees from the burden of handling each request as it comes in, and allows them to focus on providing an unparalleled customer experience at the right time, that is, as soon as possible. In an HBR study, waiting 24 hours before responding to incoming requests resulted in 1/60th the success rate relative to an immediate reply.


The challenges of putting together a successful retargeting campaign can be addressed with modern technology. Despite a slew of analytics options being available, by focusing on those that deliver relevant KPI-driven data, marketers can use technology to identify, understand, and appropriately segment potential target audiences. Understanding the target audience’s situation allows for marketers to develop personalized offers. With modern software tools, these personalized offers can be delivered at scale to a large population, while maintaining the intimacy, segmentation, and precision identified earlier. Finally, technology also allows companies to empower their customers to dictate the terms of the interaction, leading to higher satisfaction and increased conversion rates.

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