Six Questions for Every Site Retargeting Vendor

Written on
Jul 2, 2014 
Dax Hamman  |

The concept of Site Retargeting isn’t all that complicated. But the technology beneath the surface can be very complicated. Researching which vendor is right for you should be a careful and deliberate process. Asking vendors these six question will help you get started.

Efficiency in retargeting is no different than efficiency in any other business context. You want to avoid waste and save money. When it comes to retargeting, that starts with making sure there’s no audience overlap (retargeting from multiple vendors going after the same audience). A truly efficient campaign will also avoid low-quality sites and frequency caps that are set too high. Always be certain that your vendor is running the campaign that’s optimized for you rather than the vendor.

Recency refers to the time lag between data gathering and retargeting. If this gap is too long, the data you gather can become irrelevant, as potential customers will already be in a new state of mind. And yet, amazingly, many vendors today still rely on data processing technology that takes hours to identify the proper audiences for targeting. That’s simply unacceptable, especially when it comes to low-involvement intent, where sales cycles tend to be extremely short.

Reach is a term for how far your vendor can see visitors after they leave your website. In addition to premium inventory sources through private marketplaces, your vendor should have direct integrations with every source of real-time inventory (Google, Yahoo, Appnexus, eBay, as well as dozens of other exchanges). Remember to ask vendors about social media exchanges as well. You want your vendor to be able to reach customers on both Facebook Exchange (FBX) and Twitter’s Tailored Audiences.

Measurements make all the difference if you want to understand the true cost of your campaign. Ask vendors if they rely on click-through or view-through attribution — or both. When figuring out your true costs for Site Retargeting, you also want to make sure you include the cost of driving users to your site for the initial visit. Your campaign may actually be costing you more than some vendors suggest.

Agility means being able to make the right adjustments to campaigns at exactly the right times. Vendors should be able to explain their optimization practices in detail. Be sure to ask whether the vendor is capable of dynamic creative for more personalized targeting. And, while you’re at it, ask for the total number of people working on the campaign. It’s not enough for a vendor to rely only on day-to-day teams. A support team that can both test the latest optimization tactics and identify key patterns is a must.

Transparency comes down to how straightforward your vendor is and how much information you have at your disposal. Make sure you have access to a list of all the websites where your ads are running and check that they’re all brand-safe websites. Every self-respecting vendor should have tools for identifying and avoiding low-quality publisher websites, non-human traffic, and click fraud.

Let’s hope the vendors you ask these six questions to can give clear and confident responses. If they can’t, do yourself a favor and keep searching for a vendor that can.

Dax Hamman is the CPO & co-founder at Chango

Dax Hamman is Chief Product Officer (CPO) at Chango. With fourteen years in the digital space, Dax has considerable experience in all things digital including campaign strategy, media planning, usability, affiliate marketing and email marketing. Prior to joining Chango, Dax founded and led the global display media group at iCrossing for four years, a role which cultivated the development of Performance Display, a data-driven method for building ROI orientated campaigns. Before iCrossing, Dax headed up the European division of Bluestreak (ad server and ESP) where he was responsible for overseeing all local operations, including managing business development and client services. Dax frequently speaks on topics including media planning, media exchanges and the synergies between search and display at various interactive marketing events including ad:tech, Digiday, OMMA, SMX, SES, OMS, DAA and WOMMA. He also writes extensively on the digital space at daxthink.com.

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