Have you ever researched a product online and then saw an ad for it the very next day? It’s not a coincidence, it’s remarketing. It’s a feature of Google Adwords, designed to target those who recently visited a site. It’s a cookie based system. Not only does it track your visit, but how close you were to making a purchase decision.
On sites where remarketing is implemented, you’ll end up on on either the General Visitor, Product Viewer, Shopping Cart Abandoners or Past Buyers. My spellchecker thinks the word Abandoners is bogus. I think remarketing is bogus.
I get the whole “Know Thy Customer” concept. This idea is just plain creepy, not to mention annoying. What I don’t get is the idea of stealth ad harassment. You don’t know it’s happening, and even if you do, good luck trying to turn it off.
If you’re a vendor and think this might be a really neat way to stalk your prospects until they call the police consider this approach…
Ask them. I know, it sounds scary. You might have to invest time and dig into your web traffic to understand your prospects. We are so enamored with the letter “E” that we’ve come to worship eMail and eCommerce over engagement.
If you’re considering launching a remarketing campaign, consider exhausting these options first.
- Cart Abandonment – When shoppers choose to leave, ask them why. The direct approach is pure engagement. If you’re straight with them, and you listen carefully, you’re going to hear exactly what it is going to take to fix the problem.
- Help is Near – When shoppers have a problem, offer them an immediate solution. For them it’s a problem, for you it’s an opportunity. Publish your phone number prominently.
- Content Marketing – Publish engaging content including how to use your products, who they are for, actual customer testimonials. Education is a perfect form of engagement.
- Train Your Team – I’m shocked how unfamiliar team members are with your website. Why do we invest so much in telling customers what’s going on and leave our sales reps in the dark?
- I am not a Google Lab Rat - If Google and it’s advertisers ever chose to treat me with respect and gain an understanding that permission-based marketing is my choice, I may start paying attention to those nagging ads on the right.