Today we’re discussing the difference between retargeting and account based advertising. How are they different? How are they similar? We’ll answer these questions and more in today’s video series.
What is retargeting?
Let’s start with a definition of a few advertising techniques. The first is retargeting. I will abbreviate that as ‘RT’ and the second one is net new advertising or net new targeting. I will call that ‘NNT’.
The difference between these two techniques depends on how cookies are used. Under retargeting, you are dealing with a first-party cookie. That means that a visitor, John Smith, has to come to your website (let us say you are IBM offering servers at ibm.com). Now John Smith has come to your website he’s cookied, and segmented into a specific audience qualifying him for retargeted ads.
The challenge with a retargeting approach is that your reach is limited by the amount of traffic going to your website.
For most B2B marketers, that volume of traffic tends to be on the low side – perhaps 30,000 to 250,000 unique monthly visitors for large, established companies. That said, retargeting is a cost effective channel, and you know you are targeting somebody who is already interested in your solution.
If you are taking an account based marketing (ABM) approach, you may want to influence companies who have yet to engage with your brand. That presents a challenge because you won’t be able to retarget prospects from target companies who’ve never visited your site.
What can we do about this challenge? In the next section, we’ll investigate a solution based on Net New Targeting (NNT).
Increased Reach via Net New Targeting
Unlike retargeting, NNT uses third-party cookies, which have been collected by different data vendors (e.g., Oracle, Bombora, D&B, etc.) who sell such data to advertising platforms, like ListenLoop. Using those third-party cookies, ListenLoop can triangulate a list of target accounts based on the area of overlap of different audience segments based on job titles, industries, firms, geolocations, and so on. The triangulated area represents the target companies to whom you’d like to deliver ads.
Let’s discuss the actual pros and cons of this technology and what that means for you.
The good news is that you can target accounts that have not been to your website with a NNT campaign. This is powerful because such people may not be reachable under a retargeting approach.
So what is the downside of using an NNT approach? With retargeting you can target an individual with ads that resonate based on their job title, industry, or other behavioral data available about them in your marketing automation system. Whereas a Net New Targeting campaign has limited granularity, focusing on a target account, rather than individuals.
For instance, suppose we selected an audience of “marketers at software companies” and a specific geo location. This might be one person, but most likely represents multiple people. Maybe that’s not so bad, though. After all, you get to deliver impressions to many potential buyers based on the parameters you chose – even if you’re not getting 1:1 personalization.
What about CRM Retargeting (aka Offline Retargeting)?
You may have heard of CRM retargeting or offline retargeting, which is in between the aforementioned targeting techniques. Here’s a simplified illustration:
CRM retargeting takes a list of contacts, typically from a CSV file or your CRM, to onboard a list of target email addresses. Then a vendor, such as LiveRamp, will run a “matching” algorithm known as a “hashing function” that turns the emails in to a cryptographically secure set of characters. For instance, firstname.lastname@example.org may look like this: “rG92jsdFW4iudij%Y9e2hdFR”.
That “hash” is matched against another table provide by data aggregators, such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and e-commerce companies, who have dropped cookies on certain email addresses when people login or complete an e-commerce transaction. If a visitor in your target list, such as email@example.com, matches the vendors’ data, there’s a cookie on file and it’s possible to deliver ads to that prospect.
After the matching function is complete, an audience of targetable people gets pushed into your advertising platform. But here’s the rub:
match rates can be low for a B2B target list.
In a “business to consumer” (B2C) environment, this approach works well. Almost everyone browsing the web use their personal email address for transactions like e-commerce checkouts and Facebook sign-in. In fact, you probably sign-in to LinkedIn with your personal email address. In B2C campaigns, match rates can be as high as 90 percent – 97 percent!
For B2B, low match rates are the norm. But this approach can be powerful if your target list is big enough. I recommend you give this technique a shot. Use Facebook or LinkedIn to create a custom audience – and expand your reach with lookalike audiences.
Recap: Account-Based Ads Via Three Methods
To recap, we reviewed three different methods to deliver ads to a specific prospect or account. Above, you’ll find the relative pros and cons for each method. If you’re interested in learning more, ListenLoop offers both a Net New Targeting solution for unengaged accounts, in addition to a retargeting solution to get after prospects who have already been to your website.
If you have any questions leave a comment below or email me firstname.lastname@example.org. I love reading and replying to all the emails that come in. Until the next time. Talk to you soon.
Have you read the ABM Playbook? Download and read the definitive guide to nailing your account-based marketing strategy. No fluff, just good stuff.
Also published on Medium.