Banner Retargeting Marketing Strategy

A well executed banner retargeting marketing strategy is a tremendous way to capitalize on all your other marketing efforts. Banner retargeting is a way to make sure that visitors to your website continue to see ads for your products/services on the web AFTER they leave your site.  Basically – automated outbound follow-up.

Executing it is easy. It is the practice of putting a cookie on the computer of someone who’s been to your website (specific pages that is). Then buying banner ad space that will serve your ads when someone with that cookie on their computer visits that page. That’s the entire program in a nutshell.

If you’ve ever wondered about doing an outbound telemarketing campaign to call past users of your product or perhaps a postcard campaign to your pile of business cards – you’ll like this.

Before I go further most people who don’t understand banner retargeting have the following two concerns. (And because they have these concerns they typically fail to hear the astounding benefits of a banner retargeting marketing strategy.) So let’s address those two questions:

1. Aren’t banner ads an expensive strategy? Only when you have no idea what you’re doing are banner ads expensive. What kills most budgets is curiosity. When banner ads invite the curious – that’s when you really lower your return on investment and raise your overall costs. Since the only people who see the retargeted ads are those who have already been to your website, this “curiosity factor” is reduced.

Banner ads, by themselves, on the front end are great for testing messaging. You can set a budget and just test what kinds of messaging gets the click. Banner ads are also fantastic sales tools when you can hone the messaging to keep your as costs well below your return. When you can master that – you can do banner ads forever.

2. Don’t people delete their cookies?  Yes, but that doesn’t matter either. I’ll explain why in more detail in a moment. But from a cost perspective, if the cookie has been deleted – the ad’s appearance will not be triggered and thus no expense will have occurred. Some people do delete their cookies thus won’t benefit from a retargeting campaign. For those people  – well we just have to keep trying.

The Best Time to Institute Banner Retargeting Marketing

Whether you spend money on SEO, postcard campaigns, banner ads, Social Media, email marketing, highway billboards or any other strategy to get people to your website – you’ll always have a percentage that take no action and leave you no method to reach them. That’s when banner retargeting really has value.

Suppose you set up a Craigslist campaign that drives people to an advertisement. In that Craigslist ad you include a link to your website so they can get more information. Everyone that gets to that page, including the Craigslist traffic,  is asked to click another link to see a product comparison chart. Suppose you put the necessary banner retargeting code on that page – that’s where the marketing strategy starts.

When you ask your customers to click a link, you effectively filter those that will from those that won’t. It’s not entirely that simple since you actually have to get their attention first. And then your copy has to actually engage their decision making abilities. That just means you have to give your customers the chance to click your link many different ways. Ideally you would institute as many marketing plans as you can think of that will entertain, educate and serve your audience.

Now you’ve got an audience who has seen a Craigslist subject line or email subject line and have opened the invitation. This audience has then read your messaging and clicked on a link to get more information – then they even clicked on a link to see a product comparison. This is a highly targeted prospect. We now know a vast amount about the audience to which we’re developing the campaign.

The Ins and Outs of Setting up a Campaign

Now that you’ve got a targeted audience the campaign can begin. You’ve got three questions to answer to get this campaign really going. You need to determine what the message of your campaign is going to be. You have to determine how long you want the campaign to last for each person and how the campaign should end.

What should the messaging be? It could easily be a “come back and see us” campaign. You know they’ve been to your site and have lots of information about you. Surveying people who leave would give you some insight into why they left. If the product was too expensive – you could institute a discount code campaign, or a 10% off campaign. The goal in the messaging is to overcome the big obstacles and invite the person to come back.

How long should it last? At some point in time the person who came to your site will have forgotten why they went there, what they saw and why they left. Once that happens – banner retargeting becomes expensive because some people will click the ad just to remind themselves. That’s not a buying action.  So make sure you set up the campaign to take full advantage of their knowledge about you. After that end the campaign.

Finally how should it end?  Well for people who end up buying a product from you the campaign should end immediately. In that case you put code on your Thank You for Buying Page that eliminates the original code. That way they never again see your “come back and see us” campaign. It is a common marketing mistake to see campaigns that fail to end this way. Hopefully those people also get a Thank You email and you start a new campaign with them. For the others, they just cease to see the ads when they surf the web. Simple.

Another Mistake in the Dodge Journey Challenge Marketing Strategy

I was reminded of my Dodge Journey Challenge today when I saw a Dodge Journey banner ad on While I hadn’t mentioned it when I explored Dodge’s marketing mistakes during the Journey Challenge Contest, failure to implement a banner retargeting program should have been on the top of the list of their campaign mistakes.

During the Journey Challenge Dodge asked contestants to visit the Dodge site to find clues for the challenge. That would have been the perfect trigger for a banner retargeting program. I’m not sure if YouTube would have allowed Dodge opportunity to put code on their Dodge Journey Challenge YouTube page, because that would likely have been the best way to maximize the number of people cookied for banners.

While a company like Dodge may have the resources to spend on a campaign that isn’t super targeted, smaller budgets need to consider a few more steps before cookie-ing users. (not sure if “to cookie” is a verb – but there it is).  Since many of the Journey Challengers were just out to win a contest, not specifically to buy a Dodge Journey, they could easily have filtered the masses by placing cookies on other “for more information” pages on the site.

That would have ensured Dodge that their messages about the Dodge Journey would have been seen long after the contest was over by people who had just competed to win a Dodge Journey. To put it more plainly, all the people who had just dreamed of winning the vehicle could have then seen ads for the vehicle for days, months, weeks afterwards.