In our new weekly masterclass our ‘Five Ways to Master’ experts will dive deep into the realms of performance marketing with advice on how to hone specific areas of your campaigns.

Rakuten Display’s Rakhee Jogia opens the series with five ways to master behavioural targeting. 

In days gone by, a consumer’s search for a product stopped when they found their desired item at a price they were happy with. However, now that shoppers know exactly what they want and how to find it, they are more likely to compare products extensively. Their search doesn’t just extend to the product and cost anymore, but also to terms of delivery, cashback deals and discount voucher codes on offer.

Due to this complex purchase journey, marketers are finding it more difficult than ever to engage with customers and win their loyalty. It’s therefore becoming more important that retailers target consumers at all stages of the customer journey; whether they’re thinking about making a purchase, have looked at a product and put it in their basket only to abandon it, or are buying again from a brand they shop from regularly.

Behavioural targeting means brands can connect with new customers based on their preferences and encourage existing customers to keep coming back, using a personalised approach. However, there are components to consider if retailers are to ensure an effective behavioural targeting strategy. Here are some ingredients for the recipe for success:

1. Reach your consumers, not the device

The explosion of digital channels, along with the ubiquity of mobile devices and social media, has created a new world for consumers interacting with retailers. Brands must keep up with a new set of consumer demands which require individualised marketing tactics, tailored to unique interests and affinities, through a multitude of channels.

Time spent on desktops still trumps mobile devices, but smartphone and tablet usage has reached unprecedented levels, so don’t rely on just one channel. Make sure you’re reaching your consumers multiple devices and channels, and tap into personal preferences. For example, target audiences on Facebook based on their likes and demographics, and deliver personalised ads alongside video content. By utilising a cross-device and cross-channel measurement technology, you’ll have a 360 degree view of the consumer journey and conversion funnel.

2. Make your ads a meaningful experience

Develop a ‘dynamic’ ad campaign optimised to drive engagement, which adheres to brand guidelines and showcases your current marketing message. Use framework like HTML 5 that is flexible and allows for scrolling, searching, video and more, while ensuring a seamless rendering across devices. Dynamic ads allow consumers to interact with your brand and product within the ad, or allow click through to the site, putting the consumer in control of the experience. When the consumer can engage with your content in this way, your ads immediately become more engaging.

3. Media buyers are more valuable than algorithms

The rise of programmatic buying and algorithmic based technology means brands are becoming accustomed to automated advertising technologies. However, don’t forget to engage with human media buyers because they will be able to understand your brand better than any artificial intelligence. Your media buyer should be making their optimisation decisions based on your KPIs and specific business needs. Work with experts to identify and target user attributes most-correlated to conversion, increasing audience engagement and delivering results. 

By understanding target profiles deeply you can tailor your approach to appeal to them. It’s the combination of technology and human expertise that makes this incredibly effective, increasing performance and ultimately driving conversions.

4. Don’t use behavioural retargeting in isolation

86% of senior-level marketers now recognise the need to create a cohesive customer journey across all channels, and 84% plan to increase or maintain marketing budgets in 2015 according to Salesforce. However, achieving this is a challenge because consumers are not aware of ‘channels’, let alone the fact that their journey spans more than one of them. Instead, consumers expect interactions with your brand to be connected, personalised and relevant, regardless of how they engage – a challenge in a world of siloed marketing channels. Make sure you are delivering a consistent message, and tailored experience across all digital channels, with display at the core. Optimise each channel for performance, while ensuring a consistent message and brand experience across channels.

A smart attribution tool can help you to measure your display alongside all other marketing channels, not only to give you a holistic view of your complete marketing campaign, but also to measure the value display is driving for your business based on the different consumer journeys and your goals, from branding to sales conversions.

5. Demand transparency

Relying on ‘black box’ analytics and running your ads ‘in the wild’ was acceptable a few years ago, but recent advancements in the display industry mean that there is more transparency now available to clients and partners. Most display companies should be open to sharing even the most basic reports, from publisher performance to lift results. Make sure you are provided with full transparency into the campaign performance, whether it’s through a client portal or a custom report. Gain insight into click, engagement and conversion metrics in real-time, including cross-channel and cross-device measurement. Added transparency will only reinforce your confidence in your partners and their ability to deliver against your campaign goals.