Today, keeping your customers interested long enough to make a purchase is a difficult task. The reality is that if your content isn’t driven by customer behavior, it’s likely not relevant to consumers – and they’ll ignore it altogether.
We’re excited to have Hugh McGoran, chief revenue officer of Magnetic, with us to discuss the benefits of taking search retargeting to the next level. Taking advantage of customer data is always important for marketers, but Hugh helps us to see that there’s more to the process than simply gathering data; best practice is really using the data to target your customer with what he or she specifically wants at that moment.
Hugh McGoran, chief revenue officer, Magnetic
Most marketers and retailers have already developed a comprehensive site retargeting strategy (you do have a retargeting strategy in place, don’t you?). However, retargeting has come a long way since the early days, and even more innovations have recently been added to the palate that marketers have to use.
Gone are the days of simply “stalking” a site visitor or abandoned shoppers with relentless repeat ads that annoy instead of inform. Sophisticated marketers are taking advantage of data and personalized creative to make the most of their interactions with customers. Ads that recommend new product ideas or give incentives to return and shop more are welcome reminders to consumers of all that a retailer has to offer.
A New Paradigm: Marketers as Content Providers
Many marketers have spent years developing robust e-commerce and product showcase offerings for their customers and prospects. And, smart marketers have begun to realize that their sites are now some of the most highly visited on the Internet. They understand that their e-commerce offerings and reviews, blogs and recommendations are as much a content experience as any news story or notable gossip column.
This paradigm of “retailer-as-publisher” has many (positive!) implications. Are you offering the right content to the right customers, or are you still using a one-size-fits-all approach to greet customers as they return to your site? The proper use of a recommendation engine and dynamic creative can greatly enhance the customer experience. This is certainly easier for customers who signal intent by browsing products and/or conduct specific site-level visits. But for those customers that you’re seeing for the first time, it can be a bit more of a challenge. Magnetic sees billions of searches every month. Imagine if you knew what a prospect had been looking for – even if it was his or her first visit to your site?
With the increase in search volume and site traffic, many marketers and retailers are finding that their own sites are great platforms for delivering advertising. These can be house ads that recommend products or vendor and supplier ads to market to potential customers. Some retailers are even opening up their sites to other non-endemic (and non-competitive) advertisers who have a similar customer profile. Think of how a luxury clothing, luxury auto and high-end consumer electronics brand might work together to share audience data to target advertising campaigns. Search retargeting companies like Magnetic help like-minded marketers share their data through data “cooperatives” to reach into new customer pools.
Retailer as Search Engine?
If you think that search activity is limited to Google, Yahoo and Bing, think again! comScore recently reported that upwards of 35 percent of Internet searches don’t occur on search engines at all. Everything from blogs, news, review sites and, yes, retailer and e-commerce sites are providing an ever-growing source of rich search results and, hence, rich search data. We’ve seen that number grow to as high 43 percent in the all-important fourth quarter.
In the same way that Magnetic works with traditional publishers to harness the power of their search, retailers are realizing that the same can be done for them. So as we said at the outset, even though you may be remarketing to existing customers, there are many new ways you can use your site and the data that it produces to take remarketing a step further (e.g., search retargeting) or even have it become an incremental revenue source. Here are just a few:
1) Use your own search data for targeting: Site retargeting is a great start. Yet, adding your own search data to the mix can help you deliver more relevant advertising. This gives marketers the opportunity to target audiences based on the information explicitly entered into search boxes across the Web.
2) Use additional search data to increase your reach: This is a smart way to scale your efforts. Magnetic search data, for example, comes from hundreds of publishers. Consumers are searching every day for what you have to offer – you just need a partner to help you access them.
3) Sell your data: You’ve heard all the talk of “big data”? You’re not the only brand who might like to reach your customers. For example, Magnetic can “blind” your search data and put it in the mix with all of our other publisher data. Your data gets used? You get a check.
4) Deliver ads on your site: Whether house ads, supplier ads or any other brand advertisers (non-competitive of course), opening up your site to deliver ads may make financial and strategic marketing sense.
5) Start or join a data coop: Think of brands that share your customer base, or brands that have customers that you’d like to reach. There’s power in numbers – combine your audience and search data to increase your reach.
6) Target your email list: Many retailers have substantial email lists that they use to communicate with customers. Those emails don’t have to be a one-and-out opportunity. Retargeting this strong signal adds powerful frequency to your email marketing message.
So you thought you were finished because you’ve implemented a site retargeting program? Think again. You might just be getting started.
Hugh McGoran is the chief revenue officer of Magnetic, focusing his efforts on forging strategic client partnerships and establishing a global footprint for Magnetic. The strategies he’s put into place help maximize your ROI by leveraging the value of search retargeting, giving you better opportunities to reach your customers. Data is transformed into useful consumer insights, which will help you know who your audience is and what they are looking for most. To learn more, visit www.magnetic.com.
1) White Paper: “How to Turn Cart and Process Abandonment Scenarios into Revenue”
2) Blog: “Browse Abandonment Emails: How You Can Use Them to Bring Browsers Back”
3) Slideshare: “Cart Abandonment Email Remarketing”