Retargeting: an effective tool for B2B marketing

Retargeting is gaining importance as a marketing tool in the B2B sector. Theresa Lippmann, who is responsible for Google AdWords planning, implementation and optimization as a AdWords expert in Messe Frankfurt’s dexperty team, explains the benefits for companies that deal with this topic in an interview.

Retargeting supposedly results in an increased understanding of customers. Why?
When using retargeting technologies, you can learn a lot about customers including what they are looking for, where and how they search for it and why they leave a site without performing an action like purchasing, download or making contact. As opposed to online advertising by indiscriminate distribution, retargeting provides a cost-efficient way to control who is shown which advertisement at which time and in which context. Retargeting can be used to directly derive the objectives and interests of web site visitors based on their current behaviour and provide matching advertising content. Thus only advertising that is actually relevant to customers is displayed for them.

Does that mean that retargeting primarily consists of personalising advertising?
At least personalization is the key to more relevancy. Each customer has individual interests, so personalized advertising stands out among other more classical forms of advertising. This also serves to minimize the wastage of classical communication and expands opportunities for other areas in the company. After all, if I know which products a customer is looking at, which ones they put in their shopping cart but do not buy, or which ones they actually order, then I can align my measures with these actions.

Is this the reason why B2B companies in particular are implementing retargeting?
Yes, but primarily the large enterprises. SMEs are currently still holding back. They have not yet understood the opportunities that retargeting has to offer. However, in most B2B industries, the interest in purchasing recurs every few weeks or months depending on the production and sales cycle. With a campaign that is finely tuned in terms of content and timing, you can address exactly those visitors again with precisely those services or solutions that they were looking for on their first visit to the site or offer complementary products. Thus, tailored advertising is created based on their user behaviour.

How do you differentiate between actually interested users and those who may have only coincidentally navigated to the site?
Of course you cannot distinguish with 100% certainty between someone who may have randomly clicked on a site and someone who deliberately visits the site. But conclusions can be drawn based on user behaviour.
If only one page or just the landing page is visited, no explicit interest for a particular product or a category can be identified. The visitors can be addressed after leaving the page using image-promoting statements about market trends or special promotions.
Those who have delved deeper into the web site and thus demonstrated interest in specific offers, are offered products or solutions from the same category. Semantic cross-references are conceivable as well. Those who are interested in tablecloths within the textile sector could be also interested in dishes or bed sheets.

What are possible reasons for companies’ restrained use of retargeting thus far?
I think the restraint is mostly quite simply due to the fact that many underestimate the added value of retargeting. And this is not just limited to the much better way it addresses target audiences. Ongoing analysis is required and can provide further information that can be used to optimize everything from design of product ranges to SEO.
But often companies lack the expertise and manpower as well as the boldness to integrate new disciplines in their classic marketing mix. But there is actually so much potential, that investments are profitable even with a small budget.

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