Why and how to apply customer journey retargeting

Libby Margo in Content marketing on 25th of Feb 2019
Customer journey retargeting

Customer journey retargeting

Ad retargeting can play a powerful role in your marketing strategy. After all, there’s data suggesting that retargeting ads get a 10x higher click-through rate than regular display ads (Digiday). Every now and then, however, ad retargeting can do the exact opposite of what you want; instead of engaging your customers, the retargeted ads can sometimes annoy them — and you definitely don’t want that!

Want to stop your customers from getting frustrated every time they see your retargeted ad? Incorporate your customer journey into your ad retargeting strategy. By doing this, your customers are more likely to be drawn to your ad.

Why is customer journey retargeting effective?

Your brand’s retargeting experience should evolve as customers move through your marketing funnel (and their buying journey).

A customer at the start of their buying journey could be discovering your brand for the first time; they may be curious about your brand and what you have to offer, but they are not interested in handing over their money to you just yet. On the other end of the spectrum, you have customers who are more advanced in their buying journey; these customers may be regularly viewing your website to see if anything new has popped up lately, or they may have purchased from you several times. And naturally, there will be many customers positioned at various points in between the two spectrums.

Customer journey retargeting is all about tailoring the retargeted ads to be relevant to each visitor, based on where they are in their journey. Customer journey retargeting allows you to achieve the following outcomes:

It is a strategy that’s much more effective than merely showing the same old ad to your customers, regardless of where they are in the journey.

What does customer journey retargeting involve?

Incorporating your customer journey into your ad retargeting strategy comprises the following 2 steps:

  • Create unique ads for every stage of the journey; and
  • Use intent-based segmentation

Let’s do a run-down of both steps now:

Create unique ads for every stage of the journey

As your customers move from one stage of the buying journey to the next, they should be seeing different ads. For example, a customer may be viewing your website for the fifth time this week, so you don’t want to throw them into the same retargeting loop as someone who’s only visited once.

Or perhaps you’re giving Google Ads a try for the first time. Your aim here is to show your ad to people who are not yet your customers; what you don’t want to do is to show the same ad on repeat to those who have already bought (you’ll be paying for nothing otherwise!). The Autopilot template below shows you how you can use Smart Segments to add contacts who aren’t customers into a list and ensure that only they can see your ad. Once they’ve made their first purchase, you can easily remove them from the list so they are not bombarded with the same ad again.

Use intent-based segmentation

Marketing automation allows you to discover so much information about your visitors, right down to their intentions. Even using a simple website tracker can tell you a lot of things; metrics such as website clicks, time spent on specific pages, and page scroll depth are all measure of customer engagement. All this data can help you determine whether a visitor is likely to convert or not.

Furthermore, these data points can be used to segment your visitors according to each stage of the buying journey into one of three intent signals: low, medium and high. The customers in each segment will then be exposed to different sets of ads, resulting in a more memorable experience with your brand.

Other benefits of customer journey retargeting

In addition to providing your customers with a more memorable brand experience and seeing a higher level of engagement, you may find that your ad retargeting strategy is more aligned with your wider marketing strategy. You are also making your customers happier by not clogging their feed with the same repetitive ad; instead, you’re serving up fresh ad experiences that tell your brand story in a way that allows an emotional bond to develop between you and your customer.

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