Sep 16, 2011 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

In this session of SMX New York 2011 Day 3, the eminent panelists discusses about the importance of re-marketing and re-targeting, as well as the best practices involved. The session gives a deep insight on this new breed of advertising, as well as tips, tactics and top-notch best practices for creating campaigns that get real results.


  • Pamela Parker, Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land (@pamelaparker)

Q&A Moderator:


  • William Leake, CEO, Apogee Results (@marketing_bill)
  • Bibi Mukherjee, Founder, Curve Trends Marketing (@wookiesam)
  • Alan Osetek, President, Resolution Media
  • Chris Sukornyk, CEO, Chango

The session begins with the first speaker Chris Sukornyk, Founder and CEO of Chango Inc. He address the delegates and begins by stating that, “Display has totally changed– that’s an important thing to consider. A couple years ago to do display, you had to buy big chunks of inventory, 10 million impressions on one site.” He further explains by saying that display advertising is more like search.

What is Re-targeting?
"Re-targeting is a display advertising technique for engaging users based on very specific action they have taken online sometime in the past."

  • Action: User navigates to site, leaves without converting.
  • Re-target: Cookie the user, follow him or her around the web.
  • Convert: Engagement drives customer back so they convert!

Why Use Re-targeting?

  • Obvious Reason –> Re-engagement. Converting existing customers by targeting on-site actions.
  • Source of data = You own it. It’s on your site already. (Make sure you have GA or a similar analytics platform set in place.)
  • Less Obvious Reason –> Prospecting. Find new customer by targeting off-site actions prospective customers take.
  • Source of data = Third party.

7 Types of Effective Retargeting:

  1. Search
  2. Site
  3. SEO/SEM
  4. Email
  5. Contextual
  6. Engagement
  7. Social

Top TakeAways:

Chris Sukornyk's gives the following inputs:

1. Re-targeting – Advanced Optimization

  • You can afford the KWs! It’s not as pricy as you think.
  • Be mindful of KW freshness.
  • With retargeting, the window for serving that ad is time-sensitive.
  • You can increase lift in effectiveness when leveraging dynamic ads.
  • Serve users an ad and landing page that really speaks to where they’ve been and what they’ve engaged.
  • Utilize (and remember!) the frequency cap.
  • Best practice is to keep it to around 4-5 ads per day. Stagger them.
  • Do NOT cram re-targeted ads down users’ throats 24/7.

2. How to Measure Your Retargeting Campaign?

  • Post-click measurement. Similar to SEM.
  • Post-view measurement. Engagement! Display ad increases brand awareness and improves search CTR & conversion rate. Measure it!

William Leake, CEO, Apogee Results, was the next speaker in line who begins by warning that, “Not enough traditional SEM agencies nowadays are on board with re-targeting or display. He continues by considering display as big as search. According to him, anyone marketing to a considered purchase process knows search is not the handsome leading actor, it’s a supporting actor. Sometimes, it’s just a face in the crowd. You don’t have to re-target simply based on on-site engagement. It should be considered from:

  • Social media
  • Partner sites
  • Various marketing channels
  • Press
  • Portals
  • Google search within the site
  • Blended search

William then shows a chart that illustrates such marketing has amazing conversion rates.

Display only < Search Only < Display + Search! “It’s a big world out there,” Bill continued. You have to think beyond search.

  • 81% of your target market is reached by display
  • 8% by paid search

William further, said that “Most of the [PPC] tree is dealing with fruit that’s not on the ground”. Re-targeting allows small brands to compete with big brands, small budgets to compete with large stupid budgets.

Ongoing Issues & Challenges:

  • Impressions – Easiest to measure, almost everyone has inventory in this format
  • Clicks – Easy to measure, but not always valid
  • Online advertising industry = $10B –> Optimizing to the click results in more than $1B loss (ouch!)
  • Creative Formats = Multiple, production, testing
  • Placements (1 ad exchange or DSP)
  • Attribution
  • Ongoing management
  • It’s not like paid search media ads

Reclaiming Attribution from Email Marketing Bastards

From the top-down of the conversion funnel, it goes impressions, clicks, leads & online sales, to offline sales. If you have a house list of customers, don’t let “those email bastards” steal all the attribution for the sales! Retarget, steal the attribution back!

William points out that performance, intent and ROI vary tremendously by type-

  • Company KWs
  • Product KWs
  • Industry category KWs
  • Tactical pain KWs
  • Broad focus KWs

The third speaker of the session was Alan Osetek, President, Resolution Media, who begin by discussing specifically about the agency and search marketers perspective on search KW re-targeting.

Why re-targeting?
According to Alan, “Re-targeting is considered by advertisers to be the most effective media channel for reaching consumers who exhibit intent”.

Challenges with straight-up paid search:

  • High PPC prices
  • Scalability issues
  • Limited to text ads

Top TakeAways:

  • There isn’t one provider that’s always better than the other.
  • Be responsible, do research. Dig into the inventory each provider provides
  • Dig into where their data comes from to understand the quality level.
  • Do this on a product-specific basis.

Tips for Overcoming Internal Agency of Company Objections to Search Re-targeting:

  • Objection: Ad exposure – Where will my ads be showing up?
  • Solution: Many platforms allow you to create white lists (I want my ads here!) and black lists (I never want my ads here!). Additionally, you can leverage technology like Double Verify or Adsafe- programs that prevent an ad from showing on sites with content you have deemed inappropriate.

8 Re-targeting Best Practices:

  1. Working through the creative process is new. Give yourself time to familiarize yourself with what it’s all about!
  2. Consider ad serving training. Learn the details behind ad serving as a part of the campaign.
  3. Networks vary in scale and performance. Do research, talk to providers, learn inventory, specifics about data.
  4. Managing search retargeting companies. Providers vary in agency-like approach. Understand how closely they can monitor campaigns, and how well they manage them.
  5. Timing. Leave 3-4 weeks free to implement a retargeting campaign start to launch– from strategy, to KW research, to understanding your target, and going live.
  6. Use historical client campaign success metrics. Share them with providers, if you can. They’re usually pretty good about integrating that data into your retargeting campaign.
  7. Optimize, optimize, optimize!
  8. Effectively partner with search KW providers like Magnetic, Chango, Simplifi, etc.

The penultimate speaker of this session was Bibi Mukherjee, Founder, Curve Trends Marketing. She focused specifically on Google’s search-based re-marketing platform.

Sale Stages:

  1. Browse: User comes to your site, looks around, then leaves. Cookie the user. Serve user a customized PPC ad that speaks to the stage he/she was in when you cookied him/her. For example, “Welcome back!”. Create a dedicated landing page that reinforces this concept.
  2. View: User comes to your site, views products, thereby demonstrating deeper intent (closer to making a sale). Serve user a customized PPC ad that directly references the products he/she looked at. “Come back to view more [product]!”
  3. Abandon cart: User came to your site, added products to shopping cart, then left. Serve user a customized PPC ad that pulls at their heartstrings. “You were so close!…” Lead them to a customized landing page. Consider offering an incentive of “20% off since you came back!” or something similar.
  4. Audience & Remarketing Lists: So you’re thinking about retargeting! Well… unless you have an audience, how do you know who to go after? In AdWords, activate your “audience” tab. You can create audiences based on three categories:
  • Interest-based
  • Re-marketing list
  • Custom combinations

Bibi, then discussed about Re-marketing list and custom combinations. She said that your remarketing list is built of people who come to your site in the default timeframe. You can adjust this default! Depending on your sales cycle, (is it fast-moving? longer term?) you might want to. Change the default timeframe to reflect the goal and length of your sales cycle.
Custom combinations are rad, and give you a tremendous amount of… customization! You can target people based on the fact that they started converting, and eliminate from your targets people who did convert, so you serve the most relevant ad possible.

She concludes by strongly recommending to create a mix of video, image, and text ads for your re-marketing campaign.

Top TakeAways from Bibi's session:
Performance Highlights of Retargeting

  • Higher conversions
  • CTR similar to search
  • Low cost per conversion

The session ended here with more Q and A.

Remarketing & Retargeting: The New Behavioral Ads: SMX East New York 2011, Day 3!, 5.0 out of 5 based on 2 ratings
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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