The fourth edition of the State of The Industry Retargeting Report has just been published and with some surprising results. With the support of Digiday, the survey (conducted by my employer) received responses from 333 agency executives and 117 brand executives; questions covered site retargeting, paid social marketing and mobile marketing.
Paid Social (FBX, Twitter Tailored Audiences and LinkedIn) has shot onto the scene relatively recently; yet, respondents reported having their own dedicated budgets for them and reported this channel as their path to solving the problem of connecting users across desktop and mobile.
Desktop retargeting (such as site, search, etc.) is more mature than social or mobile, though budgets for social and mobile retargeting continue to increase. Retargeting budgets are still being pulled from display, even though a tiny sliver of brands and agencies report having separate retargeting budgets.
When it comes to measuring the efficacy of retargeting efforts, most brands and agencies are using a combination of click-through and view-through, implying a multi-tiered objective for retargeting: both direct response and brand awareness.
Social targeting can be a big boon to mobile retargeting efforts. As social platforms lose organic reach, it may be necessary to develop a paid social marketing program. More and more people are spending their time consuming content on their mobile devices, and this will inadvertently boost mobile targeting.
Having the ability to target consumers through social platforms like Facebook and Twitter’s Tailored Audience means that no matter what device a consumer is on, they can be targeted again and again with the right messages. There’s no fear of missing opportunities because of a cookieless mobile web.
Mobile retargeting needs this to happen, as the hurdles to retargeting on mobile devices are numerous. Brands and agencies need to prepare for this coming change. It’s slowly happening. Budgets are quietly moving from different areas, like display, into social. Paid social teams are being formed at agencies, which is an acknowledgement that the times are changing.
The challenge now for brands and agencies is finding not only the appropriate methods of social and mobile retargeting, but also finding the appropriate technologies to help in this shift.
When it comes to retargeting, the objectives are fairly traditional: most use it for acquiring new customers, building brand awareness or increasing direct revenue.
“Retargeting is over-utilized almost on every single platform just because people believe it’s predictable,” said Brian Decker, managing director of client and social action leadership at Mindshare. “But it doesn’t, in fact, really work in a very sustainable fashion unless you try to do it in an intelligent way and determine what percentage of your budget even makes sense in terms of a portfolio, in terms of what your yield is going to be from it.”
He found it “more interesting for mobile only because it’s harder to do. And if you’re trying to get some early success, not necessarily sustainable success, it would be great to do that, especially for m-commerce.”
Retargeting To Acquire A Competitor’s Customers
Interestingly, 11 percent of brands responded that they use retargeting to acquire competitors’ customers (whereas only 7 percent of agencies reported that they conquested). Nissan’s director of interactive and social media marketing, Erich Marx, sees an important market opportunity, even though there is a steeper financial cost. Nissan has a paid conquest strategy, according to Marx.
“There’s no doubt it’s more expensive,” Marx said. “You’re more apt to be a distraction when you’re sending those retargeting messages, but it’s part of our test and learn. We want to try it; we know not many are doing it yet. We’re a believer at this point.”
Most brands and agencies are conducting site and search retargeting (88 and 65 percent, respectively). However, about 33 percent of agencies and 22 percent of brands are using creative retargeting. The discrepancy is perhaps due to the rise of content marketing and native advertising. Only a quarter of total respondents chose email retargeting as a tool they’re using.
This distribution makes sense, as search retargeting is used more heavily to prospect new customers than to convert existing ones. But as native advertising and content marketing continue to command attention and ad budgets, we will be watching how other forms of retargeting are being incorporated.
More than half of the respondents (57 percent) are using both click-through and view-through as measurements for their retargeting efforts. Each has its strength: click-through is great for direct response, and view-through is used to quantify the value of an ad impression over a period of time.
With almost six in 10 brands and agencies choosing both, this could imply that digital is a broader canvas than we typically think of. By choosing one or the other, they miss out on potentially valuable impressions.
Indeed, more brands and agencies are relying on the click-through: 31 percent of brands and 32 percent of agencies are using click-through only. This is an increase from our April 2013 report that found only 22 percent of respondents selected click-through rates as the way to measure effectiveness.
When it comes to managing a brand’s retargeting efforts, as of now, 61 percent of brands say they’re managing it in-house; 47 percent are outsourcing. Brands aren’t planning on drastically changing how they manage their retargeting efforts in the future, either. When asked about how they plan to manage their retargeting efforts in the future, 63 percent said they’re going to manage in-house.
Retargeting is definitely a known entity for marketers. There is opportunity, though, in finding ways to retarget across device (i.e., mobile) and platform (i.e., social).
“The key is much better targeting,” said Barry Lowenthal, president of The Media Kitchen. “Just look at what’s going on in the past year. Facebook has gotten much better at targeting, Twitter has gotten much better at targeting, Pinterest has been talking about it and planning on some changes. Social has gotten better. LinkedIn within the last year has done their paid posts. There are just a lot more ways to monetize social and do much better targeting.”
The full report is available for free — with registration – here.
Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Marketing Land.
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