As Cloud technologies continue to evolve, more and more software buyers are seriously evaluating software as a service (SaaS) solutions against on-premise offerings. While there are many factors that influence which deployment model is best for any particular business (e.g., ability to manage IT internally and speed of deployment) the cost of the system is often a key factor. But comparing the true cost of a Cloud-based system against an on-premise system can be time-consuming and is often a complex undertaking.
Over the last two years at Software Advice, we’ve experimented extensively with site retargeting--a display advertising method that shows your ads to visitors who previously visited your website, but are now visiting other sites. When we first got into retargeting, we were familiar with pay per click and had gotten quite efficient at setting up campaigns with decent margins.
When we got into retargeting, however, we had to learn a lot of new tricks familiarize ourselves with unique aspects of running a retargeting campaign. I’d like to share four lessons that we learned through trial and error over our two years of experimentation.
1. Check Your Campaign Settings
While it’s a logical step to focus on your campaign settings, there are several defaults that most retargeting vendors use in their system which can lead you to incorrectly target visitors. Here are a few tips on dialing in campaign settings.
Audience geography. Most vendors will default to displaying your ads internationally. If you don’t operate internationally, you’ll want to set some country-specific parameters.
Cookie duration. It’s important to align your buying cycle with the cookie duration for each user. Most vendors will set your cookie duration somewhere between 30-90 days. If you have a buying cycle of 5 days, this will cause you to pay for ads that are longer effective.
Offer rotation. You should also tune your settings to rotate which ad you show a particular user over the course of the cookie duration. While they may not have clicked on your whitepaper download, they may be interested in getting a free price quote.
2. Divide Your Site into Areas of Interest
Of course, if you want to truly get targeted with your display ads, you’ll want to show different visitors unique ads based on the pages they viewed on your site.
To segment your audience, you first need to divide your website into areas of interest. One logical segmentation would be to organize your website by industry (vertical market). Another might be to segment based on the products you offer. In either case, you’ll build a profile of your visitors by tracking which URLs they visited (e.g.www.acme.com/industries/financial-services).
This will allow you to show a different ad to someone that works for a small construction firm than you would to a large financial services provider.
3. Test Your Ads in a Disciplined Way
Once you’ve developed audience segmentation framework, it’s time to start tweaking and testing your ads. There are many aspects of an ad that you can change, but a few of them are:
Crafting a message and then that reaches your target audience is never easy. It can be especially difficult to reach your target audience when you're operating with incomplete information. However, the rapidly expanding of influence is putting more and more information at the fingertips of marketers to help craft their messages. The explosion of information is what Dennis Pombriant and Brent Leary have referred to as "The Social Invasion."
Ever since marketing automation was introduced as a classification of software, it's been sold as a way to increase the overall effectiveness of marketing operations. It's well known that marketing automation helps makes marketing campaigns more efficient.
Cloud technologies are maturing to a point where they are becoming more relevant to the manufacturing industry. As Cloud enterprise resource planning (ERP) options begin to take a stronger foothold in the enterprise, manufacturers are taking the technology more seriously. While most of the attention in Cloud ERP focuses on the application, I think there are significant opportunities for manufacturers to make use of platform as a service (PaaS).
- Origin of product
- Product freshness
- Packaging information
- Nutrition and allergen facts
- Food recall information