New opportunities in mobile retargeting help brands drive ROI
By Chantal Tode
September 25, 2012
Despite some challenges, marketers are increasingly finding ways to retarget in mobile, helping to drive conversion rates and ROI for the efforts.
A lack of tracking capabilities in mobile is just one of the hurdles making retargeting more difficult in mobile compared to desktop. However, marketers are starting to learn how to leverage location, social and apps for retargeting purposes, efforts that could get a jumpstart if Apple introduces a new mobile identifier for advertising as it is expected to do soon.
“There are big name retailers and regional players that are experimenting with place retargeting and social retargeting,” said Kevin Hannan, vice president of product management at Sense Networks, New York.
“Early results are promising, but retailers haven't yet seen the results to start spending heavily with this method,” he said. “As cookie technology improves on mobile and as purchases become easier (via wallets), we expect that retargeting like it’s done in online will take off on mobile.”
Retargeting is the practice of targeting a digital ad to a consumer after that consumer has shown interest in the brand - for example by clicking on a Web site - but has not converted. The strategy is used quite often in desktop.
While still a relatively young strategy in mobile, the consensus is that the potential is just as big, if not bigger, for retargeting in mobile.
However, there have been several challenges, such as difficulties in tracking mobile users’ activities because most mobile devices are not compatible with cookies while other tracking mechanisms, such as UDIDs, present privacy challenges.
There are signs that mobile regarding is gaining steam. A Barnes & Noble executive at the Mobile Marketing Summit: Holiday Focus 2012 conference earlier this month said that the company’s No. 1 mechanism for driving engagement with consumers after they have downloaded an application is retargeting (see story).
To get around the challenges in mobile retargeting, some marketers are using social and location data to uncover user intent. For example, intent can be derived from what people tweet on their phones, and marketers can use those intent signals to target ads.
Marketers are also starting to use location data to identify regular shopping patterns and use location data as indicators that a consumer is in the market for a product.
“Brands are trying to figure out how to drive sales through mobile,” Mr. Hannan said. “They are looking beyond the current retargeting limitations to uncover intent in other ways and take advantage of the low-cost mobile channel.
“Location patterns can reveal that a user shops at Target every other week,” he said. “This opens up the opportunity for place retargeting, where Target can reach the user to increase frequency or Walmart can reach the user to convert him to its store.”
Retailers and restaurants, in particular, are gravitating toward location retargeting, per Mr. Hannan.
Sense Networks recently introduced its Retail Retargeting solution allowing retailers to identify shoppers who have been to their store and retarget these shoppers with mobile ads. The platform uses predictive location and behavioral targeting to match consumers to the most relevant offers from retailers via mobile display advertising.
There are also some opportunities for retargeting in mobile apps.
Retargeting in apps is often used to up sell existing customers and for new customer acquisition.
“As less visitors convert on their first exposure to an ad, retargeting is an excellent way to reach users multiple times and increase conversions,” said Paran Johar, chief marketing officer at Jumptap, Cambridge, MA.
“The challenge of retargeting in mobile is that there is curr ently no one way to retarget across both apps and mobile sites,” he said. “Almost all in-app advertising is compatible with retargeting.”
Two methods of retargeting for mobile apps are p ositive retargeting, which allows advertisers to pinpoint and up sell those users who have already seen an ad or downloaded an app, and negative retargeting, which helps advertisers exclude current users, or those who have already viewed an ad, and only target new consumers.
“Retargeting can increase
s ROI and decrease s cost per acquisition - music to the ears of many brand advertisers,” Mr. Johar said. “Retargeting also offers brand advertisers a chance to leverage various stages of an app campaign and help increase consumer engagement and brand loyalty.”
Other challenges in retargeting include having enough people come to a site so that there is a big enough subset of these people to retarget after they leave.
Another challenge is when marketers layer in multiple display partners that end up retargeting the same people and as a result there are not enough new prospects being brought into the pool.
Many vendors are looking for ways to address the challenges in mobile retargeting, sensing a significant opportunity for brands here if they can unlock the code for effective mobile retargeting.
For example, BlueKai has introduced a mobile retargeting cloud-based solution that helps marketers gain insight from their audiences across mobile sites and applications and helps them retarget across the mobile Web. In addition, they can prospect new mobile audiences as well as by tapping into third party mobile data.
“Mobile is a very new medium and we see some early adopters making use of these systems,” said Cory Treffiletti, senior vice president of marketing at BlueKai, Bellevue, WA.
“Direct marketers in retail and CPG are testing a lot in retail.
“Interestingly, mobile marketers who may not have a huge online or offline brand - marketing mobile games, apps and products - are probably the most sophisticated about reaching audiences in mobile right now,” he said.
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York
- Trackback url: http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/trackback/13852-1