First, a little background about retargeting in general:
You’re reading a news article, and you see an ad for a watch that looked interesting to you. You’re not in the market for a watch but out of curiosity you click the ad. Or maybe you just like how the ad was designed. Or maybe you click on the ad by “accident”.
You get to their website, see the picture, think it’s “interesting” and leave. Probably took you all of 5 seconds.
Shortly thereafter, you see ads that say “Buy this watch now!” from the same website you visited all over the internet. Wherever you go. This is called Retargeting.
At first, you’re surprised or maybe even wowed at how you literally just saw the watch and magically, you begin to see the ads from the same company for the same watch! You may even think “Cute”. But then you begin to get annoyed because these ads are now not stopping!
People not only pay no attention to your ads, but they become blind to it
And that’s a problem.
Ever heard of Goldfish having the shortest attention span? Well, humans are now holding that record at 8 seconds. That’s less than Goldfish’s 9 second attention span.
So given that you didn’t pay attention to the watch, yet now you’re getting ads to get you to buy it… there’s not a big chance you’d actually buy it.
But one of the main reasons you won’t buy it is because you probably don’t even remember it!
Even if you do remember the watch, it was just “interesting”, not a “wow”.
Plenty more reasons why you won’t buy it. And plenty more reasons that kind of blind retargeting won’t help.
Don’t lose customers to banner blindness. Be smart.
The brand keeps showing the ads anyway. Hundreds of times. From a marketing standpoint, this is just a waste of time, effort and money.
Not only that, but the user will probably get tired of the ads and subsciously begin to “tune-out” your brand. May even develop banner blindness to your brand.
The technical step needed to start retargeting is installing a pixel, but explaining that is out of the scope of this post so I’ll leave it at that. There’s so many disadvantages to setting up pixels and a bunch of ads and letting them go to town. But instead of listing them all, I’ll make you step in the shoes of a user.
In real life, you went to a shoe store. Walked out without purchasing, but the store clerk began to follow you after you walked out. Every few minutes, he/she would approach you and say “Buy those shoes you looked at now!” …
A little later you’re buying oranges….there he is again, ”Buy now, limited stocks left!”
You’re sitting at the park reading the newspaper…. “Do you want a coupon? Fine, here’s a 10% off coupon… buy now!!”
Doesn’t it get tiring? Not to mention annoying?
Digital journeys of customers need to be handled exactly how you would treat a prospect/customer in real life.
Be a reactive marketer, not a loudspeaker marketer
So you wonder, how exactly do you “retarget” in real life? They just have a different name, called “follow ups”. And you tend to follow up with someone who has given you hints that he/she may be interested in what you have to offer.
How do these follow ups look like in real life?
Sitting next to a stranger at a bar, you can have two scenarios :
- You say hi. And then you say “I’m selling authentic but used Rolex watches. Buy one.”.
- You say hi. Talk about things like weather or the game that’s on. Tell each other what you do for a living. And continue on with casual conversation. If the person is interested in what you do, he dwells in that topic a little more. And you get to talk more about how your product or service helps people.
In the first scenario, there’s a highly likely chance that the other person has tuned you out the minute you said you’re selling used Rolexes.
In the second scenario, however, you put out a feeler by subtly mentioning what you do and saw that they responded well. It gave you a chance to elaborate a little more.
In the first scenario, you came to a dead stop.
In the second, you have an opportunity to continue this conversation and have a real shot at a sale by being slow and steady.
With me so far? Good.
OK so you may wonder “how do you mimic this real life system of selling to interested parties in the digital world“?
Glad you wondered!
This is where you’ll employ Cascaded Retargeting.
What is Cascaded Retargeting And How Can I Use It?
Like a cascading waterfall, you can market to people at stages. Much like you’ll begin to see from us (or maybe you already do ?)
Ascertain their interest levels before beginning to really market to them. And when you begin to market, don’t go right for the pitch. Take the time to subtly introduce your brand/product/service and make them open to the idea.
Just like that conversation at the bar.
You open casually.
If the prospect is interested, they hang around longer. In the digital world, this mean mean staying on site for more than 15 seconds and that qualifies them to be as “interested”. You can have this qualifier be whatever you want. If they scrolled, or watched a video, or stayed there for 15 seconds… etc.
Once they show you interest, that’s when you begin cascaded retargeting.
Cascaded Retargeting is basically a sequence of messages disguised as ads shown to the user at intervals depending on how they have acted (or not acted) towards your brand.
Who does cascaded retargeting work for?
It can work for service based businesses like doctors, lawyers, optometrists, mortgage lenders, etc.
Or it can work for product sellers, like patio furniture stores, ecommerce stores, auto dealers, watches… pretty much anyone.
Now, if you’re thinking it costs a lot, you’re wrong. Let me show you why it won’t cost much.
Previously, you’d go right for the “buy now” ads. This not only costs more, but gets people annoyed with you. Then you retarget them (which you do, don’t you?) and then a small portion of the prospects turn to customers. All that costs money!
You show ads to everyone, and if they click, you again show ads to everyone. This leads to a low conversion rate while your spend is still high.
But with a cascaded retargeting strategy, while you’re paying more at the top to bring in more people to qualify them, and THEN begin to retarget the qualified ones.. you’re getting more of them (qualified visitors). But because you’re showing your follow up ads to a much smaller segment of highly qualified visitors, you don’t pay as much. Your cost per clicks are also lower AND you get a better conversion rate.
Bottomline: you win in every way with a cascaded retargeting strategy.
Try this out, and you won’t be sorry you tried. If you’d rather we do this for you, just get in touch!