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The rule of seven is one of the most well-established concepts in marketing. It states that on average, a consumer needs to see or hear a brand’s message seven times before they commit to a purchase.

It makes sense. We want to trust that a company will deliver what they’re promising, and familiarity builds that trust.

In the world of digital marketing this is reflected in the fact that 97% of first-time visitors to your website will leave without making a purchase. But far from a problem, this statistic represents an incredible opportunity.

An opportunity that you can capitalise on with remarketing.

What is remarketing?

Remarketing, also called retargeting, is the practice of capturing information from your website visitors that can then be used to serve up targeted advertising to them as they move elsewhere around the internet. Google is the leader in remarketing, so most activity is undertaken on the Google Ads network.

You probably have quite a bit of personal experience with remarketing, even if you didn’t recognise it at the time. Let’s say you visit an online retailer looking for a certain pair of shoes, but decide not to buy. In the hours, days and weeks that follow, you see that specific pair of shoes constantly, served up via display advertising on other websites.

The constant reminders keep the shoes top of mind, and over time you become more familiar with the brand, and therefore more trusting of it. Eventually you might choose to buy.

Remarketing is about understanding that just because a visitor didn’t make a purchase initially, it doesn’t mean they’re not interested in making one in the future. Often they’re simply not ready and need time to think. They may have run out of time, or simply forgot. Remarketing is an efficient way to meet the demands of the rule of seven, exposing your brand to those who have shown real interest in it, and keeping a potential purchase at the top of an interested customer’s mind.

How does remarketing work?

Because Google is hands-down the biggest name in remarketing, let’s look at how the strategy works on their advertising network, Google Ads.

For those who already use Google to advertise, capitalising on remarketing is about adding a piece of remarketing code, AKA a tag or pixel, to your website. This Google-supplied code is added to each of your web pages and collects information on visitors through browser cookies. You can then form the visitor information you collect into lists that allow you to target specific types of visitors, like those who have looked at a particular style of shoe.

When done well, remarketing is a strategy that evolves as time passes, becoming ever more efficient and effective. For example, over time you can begin listing potential customers by both the product they are interested in and the action they took on your site:

  • Shoe buyer + new visitor
  • Shoe buyer + return visitor
  • Shoe buyer + existing customer
  • Shoe buyer + abandoned cart

You can then craft remarketing ads that speak to customers in these specific situations. You could advertise an introductory offer to the new visitor, or a loyalty program to an existing customer. You could offer free shipping to the people who abandoned their cart. The narrower the target, the more effective you can make the remarketing ad.

The benefits of remarketing

Social media, email marketing, video advertising, search engine optimisation; a modern marketing budget has a lot of bases to cover, so why should you invest in remarketing?

The audience is interested

The beauty of remarketing is that you have the opportunity to advertise to people who have shown real interest in your products and services, and in a very targeted way. Where most other forms of marketing start at the top of the sales funnel – the awareness phase – remarketing targets those further down, at the interest, desire and action phases. They’re simply closer to making a purchase.

It’s cost-effective

Remarketing not only delivers targeted advertising to people who are more likely to buy, it also costs less than a standard Google pay-per-click (PPC) ad. The average cost per click (CPC) for a Google Ad in New Zealand in 2022 is in the range of $1.50-$3 (although it can be far higher or lower depending on the keyword.) The average CPC for a remarketing ad in 2022, meanwhile, is in the range of $1-$2. In short, you pay less while enjoying a more effective form of marketing.

PPC = free brand recognition

Because Google remarketing works on a pay per click system, you’ll only be charged if your audience clicks through. But if we recall our rule of seven, your audience only needs to see or hear your message, not necessarily interact with it. This means that remarketing can still be effective when people don’t click and you don’t pay, as it offers free brand recognition.

You can track and measure performance

Because it’s a part of the Google ecosystem, Google remarketing integrates with Google Analytics to offer up valuable data insights. By adding tracking codes to a Google Ads campaign you can get a deep understanding of its performance. This helps you to identify and invest more in the things that work, which significantly increases the effectiveness of your remarketing campaign over time. You can even collect information on the demographics and interests of your audience to craft remarketing campaigns that speak directly to them.

It’s easily customisable

The Google Display Ad Builder tool takes just minutes to learn, and but allows you to create beautiful ads from templates that offer customisation in colour, shape, size, layout, content and more. Even a beginner can create and upload a beautiful and highly effective remarketing ad in a handful of minutes, though you should keep in mind that remarketing is a discipline that can take a lifetime to master, which is why most businesses team up with professionals like Traction.

The Google Display Network is huge

Which is bigger: Google or Facebook? In terms of reach, it’s no contest. The Google Display Network reaches over 90% of all internet users. Only 64% of internet users, meanwhile, are active monthly users on Facebook. This incredible reach means that your remarketing ads can appear wherever your audience might be, across millions of websites as well as on platforms like YouTube, Gmail and the Google search engine results page (SERP).

It works

Three-quarters of internet users report seeing remarketing ads. The average click-through rate (CTR) for remarketed display ads is 10x that of regular display ads, and people retargeted with display ads are 70% more likely to convert when they get to your site. In short, remarketing works.

How to start remarketing

Now that we understand the power and potential of remarketing, it’s time to capitalise on it. Remarketing can be a complex and confusing world for the uninitiated, full of jargon and specialised tools, so it’s best to develop and execute your strategy with the help of a marketing expert. But if you’re wanting an idea of the work involved, the basic process is as follows:

1. Analyse the data, develop a strategy

Who do you plan to target with your remarketing campaign? How do you plan to advertise to them? The answers to these questions will be defined by the goals you set and the data you collect and analyse.

2. Set up your remarketing codes

Once you’ve developed your strategy, the first step to enacting it is to set up the all-important remarketing code that collects website visitor data. For Google Analytics users this is as easy as turning the remarketing button on in your settings.

3. Create audience lists

While Google recommends that you begin your remarketing journey by retargeting everyone who visits your homepage, there are more efficient and effective ways to work. Having defined potential audience lists during the strategy development phase, it’s now time to put that plan into action. You can even create custom combinations of two separate lists – the more specific the defined audience the better, though it’ll take time to become more precise.

4. Choose membership duration/frequency

Two of the main dials you can tweak in your remarketing campaign is how long you store a cookie in someone’s browser (anything up to 540 days), and the maximum frequency a person can see your ads in a given period (frequency capping). Keep in mind that longer and more frequent isn’t necessarily better, as you risk annoying your audience.

5. Test and optimise

There’s no real end point to a remarketing campaign. You should constantly test and optimise every aspect of your campaign – ads, bids, audience lists, membership duration, frequency cap and web/landing pages – in order to increase your return on investment.

Remarketing is a potentially game-changing marketing strategy for any business with an online presence. Its use goes far beyond the rule of seven – when done well it can result in a significant and sustainable increase to your bottom line.

But it takes time, skill and experience to create a truly effective remarketing campaign, which is why so many Kiwi businesses choose to partner with experts.

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