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The (Re)emergence of Display Advertising: Part 1

A few years ago, advertisers had become increasingly frustrated with the challenges surrounding the available display advertising models. Although long touted by advocates (i.e. ad agencies) as a tool that could build brand awareness and equity, marketers driven by hard metrics like ROI and conversions were nonplussed. Traditional display costs were determined by number of impressions (the amount of times an ad was shown or ‘displayed’), and not by cost per lead or sale numbers.

Savvy marketers on tight budgets could not support spending on blind web traffic that might not actually result in sales. The inability to properly attribute revenue to display campaigns lead many SMBs to turn away from display altogether and put more of their online marketing dollars towards trackable mediums like paid search.

Over the last few years, the display advertising landscape has been revitalized, largely due to changes in the competitive landscape, improved bid models and better targeting capabilities. Of course, on the heels of the improved technology came the advent of smarter analytics (and marketers!) that helped shift the display landscape to one of proper attribution.

Retargeting campaigns are particularly effective because, unlike regular display campaigns, they are only shown to visitors that have already expressed an interest in your company via their engagement with your website, or through a keyword search. Typically, this kind of visitor is much more qualified and has a much greater chance of converting.

Retargeting’s acute tracking had not been possible with older style display campaigns, and now allows for dynamic display messages to be shown based on what content a visitor has been to on your site. The customer segmentation that this level of profiling has meant that advertisers can even further qualify their website visitors with more targeted messaging. For example, if a site visitor has spent time on your pricing page, you can then send a banner ad that supports why your product is a great buy.  Conversely, a visitor to a specific product page should be targeted with a banner that promotes that particular product.

Being able to show a lost visitor a unique display ad based on his interactions on your site can re-engage a visitor and increase your sales. With shopping cart abandonment nearing 66%, the ability to recapture lost visitors could mean a huge increase in revenue for your company.

Have you already started using retargeting campaigns to maximize your integrated marketing campaigns? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post that will show you how to launch and optimize your own retargeting plan.