ADOTAS – It’s widely accepted that engagement is one of the more prevalent methods for measuring success when it comes to advertisers building brand awareness and establishing a stronger relationship with their customers. While retargeting has grown into one of the most productive tools for online marketers to drive sales, an important question is how to measure success when utilizing retargeting as a tool to increase engagement.
When retargeting first came on the scene, networks would typically lump campaigns in with other run-of-network buys and category-based creative: single, flat, non-rich creative was delivered to a narrow audience with no attention to frequency caps. Today’s process is much more sophisticated for ecommerce sites and, therefore, more effective: dynamic ads delivered to highly targeted consumers that drive significant sales.
The same early use of retargeting is now being seen with brand awareness campaigns. The efficacy of retargeting for ecommerce really requires its own set of campaigns and success metrics and the same is true for using the discipline to building brand awareness.
So, how might we measure the effectiveness of retargeting in creating incremental engagement? I propose that success could come in two forms for two different types of brand advertisers:
1) For advertisers who are not providing a reason for the consumer to visit their site again. This could be due to a lack of promotions or content to drive them back. Success is typically measured by creating additional engagements in an ad unit.
Rich content, calls for interaction with social tools, promotions in the ad are all effective ways to do this, but a well-run retargeting program works to reach the entire lost prospect pool at the right frequency caps, right time of day, geo-location, etc. Success is then measured by creating the highest amount of ad engagements at a targeted cost per.
2) For advertisers that want to drive interaction with the brand and increase the engagement on the site itself. Advertisers who have significant content and offer reasons to return to the site fit this model well.
Automotive manufacturers, for instance, are ideal for this form of success measurement. Most car makers want consumers to continually drill down into the site and offer them opportunities to modify/create the exact car they want. In order to determine success, these advertisers must identify how to measure if these are incremental engagements.
Research determines incremental success
This second group – those advertisers that have a lot of content and offer reasons to return to the site – would be well served to use A/B testing to measure if sophisticated retargeting programs can achieve this engagement.
Controls groups are established to understand the average number of pageviews a prospect creates, how often they visit the site and the length of time between visits. Once a retargeting program begins, advertisers can measure the increases to the metrics.
Successfully increasing the number of pageviews and visits while decreasing the time between visits are both excellent ways to understand if the brand is achieving its objective.
Giving retargeting a seat at the measurement table
Marketers would not consciously choose to take their email database and send untargeted campaigns without paying attention to frequencies. Retargeting is no different.
Each advertiser has a finite number of consumers that have chosen to take time out of their day to engage with the brand. Running basic retargeting programs that deliver flat creative to the same people hundreds of times in a given month is likely to damage a brand far beyond the consumers seeing the ad units.
Retargeting campaigns that have their own focus and specific metrics can help to ensure success for both ecommerce and brand building initiatives.