Global IT spending is expected to grow by 5% and reach $2.14 trillion in 2014 giving marketers around the world more reason than ever to look at ways to crank up their customer acquisition and lead generation activities.

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One of the easiest ways to help maximize your current lead gen efforts is to first look internally to your website.  Your website is  where you educate your prospects, tell your story, and sell your brand.  Your website also offers 1st-party data, or information about people’s interests and purchasing intentions based on their interactions with your website. This is incredibly valuable and should be one of the main driving forces behind how you engage your prospects and customers.

With over 2,000 tech customers, AdRoll knows how to set up, execute, and measure customer acquisition retargeting campaigns. Here are five particularly helpful tips that marketers need to know about engaging today’s technology buyer.

1. Know your goals:

While retargeting has been used for years to power website lead generation, including content downloads, demos, and free trials, it’s also equally great for branding. Keeping your story and solution in front of a user during a six-month sales cycle can be the extra reminder to help seal the deal. Be sure to know what goals you actually have for retargeting as this will ultimately help your retargeting vendor set you up with a campaign geared towards hitting your goal.

2. 98% of users do not convert on their first visit

This statistic, while seemingly pessimistic, does provide marketers with an excellent initiation point for their future communications. Retargeting tracks where users go and what they do on your site, which ultimately should influence your next touch. Depending on your business, you can have segmentation strategies based on product lines, sales cycle, industry or a combination of both.  One strategy that’s been particularly successful for long-tail, or three- to-six-month B2B sales cycles is looking at users based on their stage in the buying cycle.  Here’s one way you could break it down:

  • Awareness stage: Any users who made it to you site or to a general area of your site

  • Consideration stage: Users looking at specific product pages, solutions, or topical areas of the site

  • Decision stage: Users who have engaged with content or made it to high value areas with or without converting (free download form, whitepaper download, blog, etc)

  • Nurturing stage: Just because someone converted for a white paper doesn’t mean retargeting should be turned off.  While most companies will turn the sales team loose on a lead, retargeting can still provide a subtle reminder of your company’s benefits.  A best practice is to change the messaging of the ad creative at this stage to drive home your brand, support or customer success stories.

3. Varying your ad creative

Offering only one piece of ad creative may not do your business justice. Best practices are to keep ads fresh and relevant based on their experience with your brand. Swapping in new creative every 60-90 days can help you avoid “ad blindness” where a user has seen the same messaging so much it no longer registers with them.

The more creative you have, the more chances you have to uncover your prospects’ pain points.  By varying your creative, you can put your segmentation strategy into full effect.  Serve product ads to users who went to product-related pages; serve content downloads to those who looked but didn’t convert; serve free trials and demos to users who have downloaded content, and serve branding and customer testimonials to people who have converted.

4. Don’t ignore social networks:

With over a billion monthly active users on Facebook and 500 million active users on Twitter, social networks are “must use” channels for advertisers.  B2B has historically been slow adopting the social marketing strategy given its track record of not representing their core buyer.  Retargeting helps minimize the doubt as the only people who will see your ads on Facebook and Twitter are those who have already been to your site.  Performance on both social networks has been extremely strong–as seen here in our Facebook Exchange News Feed by the Numbers.

5. Measuring success with an attribution model:

According to a study conducted by ComScore, “only 16 percent of internet users account for 80 percent of all clicks.” This pool of ad clickers becomes even smaller when you’re focused on reaching IT decision makers. There’s a huge audience of non-ad clickers that you’ll be missing out on if you only look at click-through conversions (CTC). Having an attribution model for view-through conversions (VTC) becomes extremely important for B2B marketers who want to judge the impact of their retargeting campaign outside of the click.

A common way to build your attribution model is to assign a percentage of credit to the VTC based on how long it took a user to convert.  Anything within an hour is often  assigned a high percentage of credit, while anything outside of two days is given less credit for the conversion.  Having an attribution model will help you judge the overall effectiveness of retargeting that is happening beyond the click.  In an online world where every conversion counts, this will help you see the full picture.

These are only a few retargeting tips to help you get started. Check out the full report and learn more about today’s B2B retargeting strategies by registering for AdRoll’s “B2B Retargeting Best Practices: Accelerating Your Sales Funnel” Webinar on Feb 13th.