On any given day, an individual consumer might shop on their tablet before their morning shower, continue the search with their smartphone during their morning commute, pick it up once again on their desktop while trying to look busy at work, and cap off the search from their laptop at home before going to bed.
These twists and turns that typically include multiple devices on multiple platforms using different browsers and apps can make an advertiser feel like calling it a day.
However, just as technology plays a role in creating that confusion, it also allow brands to remarket their message so that they never get lost in the metaphorical sofa cushions of a consumer's busy day. Simply put, advertisers now have the tools that can help their online campaigns bounce around in lockstep to match the customers' frantic pace and lifestyle.
In the shape-shifting digital environment, strategies form and evolve to match the dynamic nature of the customer base and marketplace. In the particular case of remarketing, technologies have emerged that allow advertisers to continue the customer journey after it has been abruptly cut off or cut short when an individual switches devices.
As such, remarketing's evolution can be traced back to its roots in email campaigns, through its proliferation in display advertising on websites, and finally into the social media channels that it now regularly inhabits to maintain that customer journey.
Many of the largest brands in the world routinely utilize various remarketing techniques to keep their message in front of a busy customer base. Several large retailers, for instance, use remarketing tools to make sure an individual customer is consistently reminded of products they might have viewed at one point in the recent past but never purchased.
Remarketing in Action
To use an example, if a user is browsing for a new pair of shoes but stops short of actually making a purchase, a retailer can rely on remarketing technologies to remind the customer about those shoes through display ads in browsers and throughout their preferred social media platforms, independent of the device being used.
By using an image of the specific shoes within the ads, the customer is instantly reminded of the browsing session and, therefore, far more likely to remain within the sales funnel. As time passes, retailers often embed sales codes or discounts within the remarketing ads to make it even more tempting for the customer to make a purchase.
Similarly, financial services companies can use a remarketing strategy for instances when a user might browse a firm's financial products but never actually sign up for anything. Auto insurance companies often rely on remarketing for prospective customers that might have sought a quote for their new car but never followed through by signing up for policy.
In both instances, if a prospective customer was researching a particular financial or insurance product on their desktop but didn't advance along the funnel, those companies would be able to stay relevant within that customer's memory by following up with ads on their phone through a browser or social media app.
Obviously, remarketing strategies find solutions to an audience's splintered attention, often divided amongst multiple devices and apps, using ads that reignite their attention to a product, service, or brand they already showed interest in.
Technology's Place in Remarketing
Using something like AI as an example, technology can greatly enhance the impact and level of engagement a remarketing strategy can provide a brand. While the simple notion of sending a reminder email might provide significant benefits to a advertising campaign's effectiveness by reacquainting a user with a recent browsing session, a technology like AI can add entirely new dimensions to those ads, further enhancing their engagement and ability to extend the customer journey.
Again, using the example of a user browsing for a pair of shoes, AI can provide an unparalleled depth to remarketing ads by providing a meaningful set of product suggestions that speak well to the users specific tastes and demands. Leveraging its power to use algorithms to find trends buried within reams of big data, AI can help that online shoe retailer provide specifically honed product suggestions that are consistent with the particular needs and tastes of an individual user.
Furthermore, AI is getting better each day at identifying the subtle nuances that have long been an advertiser's Holy Grail in deciphering the mysteries of consumer behavior. In fact, many of these nuances can even be lost by human-based advertising teams. This means AI can provide dimensions and depth that have never before been available to an ad campaign.
Similar applications are used by online media streaming platforms that act as enablers to our binge watching habits, again pairing previous viewing behavior with other TV shows or movies that coincide with our particular tastes and interests. While this is not an example of remarketing, it still speaks to the power of the underlying technology that can enhance any remarketing strategy that chooses to adopt it.
Use It or Lose It
It's a brave new world for advertisers struggling to keep up with the dizzying schedules of their target audience. By implementing remarketing strategies in their digital campaigns, however, advertisers now have effective tools that can keep pace with those schedules, extend the customer journey and find the conversions their campaigns were built to generate in the first place.
Bonus: Check out our other article for 10 tactics for guaranteed success with remarketing!