I’ve been working in business development and with pay per click (PPC) advertising here at Papercut and one thing that I’ve repeatedly heard over the last month is the phrase “remarketing.” The specific form of remarketing referenced is the Google Display Network’s PPC remarketing offering. It seems as if every business is convinced that remarketing is the new “silver bullet” of marketing and that it will revolutionize their business marketing efforts.
For those who are not familiar, PPC remarketing is the process of placing relevant ads in front of previous visitors to your website or users of your apps as they search for terms related to your products or services. These ads will show up on websites that are part of the Google Display Network. This is a great way to get back in front of a potential customer once again.
Don’t get me wrong, PPC remarketing is extremely effective. Remarketing via the Google Display Network ultimately convinced me to buy Warby Parker glasses. If remarketing is done right, it can make consumers feel great. Bill Gates was talking about this exact reaction way back in 1999 in his book Business @ the Speed of Thought:
Targeted ads should make consumers happy. They’re more likely to see ads that are relevant to them.
When Remarketing Goes Wrong
When PPC remarketing is done right, it really can “make consumers happy,” but what happens when it is done wrong and the ads are ultimately irrelevant? Below are some complaints that I’ve collected over the past few months.
I’m a current client... why I am STILL seeing ads?
There are two problems with this. First, this can be annoying for a customer that has already paid for your services and continues to see an introductory sales pitch from you. This is not good for brand recognition, especially if the customer is having an issue with your product or service. Second, if you are bidding for impressions (which you definitely shouldn’t in a remarketing campaign) this is a clear waste of money. Your ads are being shown to people who are already your customers, and you’re paying for those views. Understanding your sales funnel and setting the proper remarketing lists will be the best way to avoid this problem.
I went to this website once and now they are stalking me around the web!
Just because someone comes to your site and bounces doesn’t mean that you just lost a potential customer. That bounced visitor can actually say other things about your online marketing. What if the visitor is expecting free project management software for small teams and your business is offering a paid $1,000+ ERP solution for SMBs? That “unqualified traffic” comes to your site and within a few seconds, those visitors realize that your offerings don’t fit their expectations and they leave. High traffic numbers sound great to some SEOs, but that traffic could be bringing in a lot of unqualified visitors and can be very damaging to the quality of your remarketing lists. A great way to remedy this is to filter landing pages with high session counts but no conversions, like a career page. Further filtering using metrics like downloading a whitepaper or signing up for an email list would also be an effective way to build out remarketing lists.
Ultimately though, the above example can happen (and is surprisingly common) if you have PPC and SEO teams that are not working together to achieve the same overall marketing strategy. While remarketing is effective, SEO, PPC, social media and email marketing can all be great marketing channels for your business. The key to the success of PPC remarketing is that all marketing channels need to be working together in harmony so your remarketing efforts can “make consumers happy."