American consumers are exposed to around 4,000 to 10,000 ads every day. That’s a whole lot of opportunities to acquire new customers, and just as likely, chances to annoy the hell out of thousands of others. When you use remarketing to stay top-of-mind with customers, you’re walking a fine line between drawing in potential customers and infuriating your audience. Remarketing can and does work, but only if you can put the customer experience above short-term vanity KPIs. Here’s how to do it and how to make the customer’s experience better using the Invoca call tracking platform.

What is Remarketing and Retargeting?

Remarketing, also known as behavioral advertising, is online advertising that “targets” web-browsing consumers with ads based on their previous web browsing activity. Retargeting pixels are used set a cookie in the users’ browser, which allows the advertiser to show them ads that are (ideally) relevant to their previous browsing and shopping behavior. Remarketing is often used for potential customers who have shown interest by opening an email, visiting a web page, adding items to a shopping cart, or clicking on a social media ad.

What a retargeting ad looks like. You can improve ad quality with call tracking software.
Look at a Jeep on Autotrader, get an Autotrader ad on Facebook. You’ve been retargeted!

What’s the difference between retargeting and remarketing? The difference is subtle, but there is a distinction. Remarketing is your overall strategy of reconnecting with customers and prospects after they have interacted with your brand. This could be a combination of email, paid digital media, direct mail and more. Retargeting, or retargeted ads, are the cookie-based ads used to remarket to people after they have left your site on other sites as part of an ad network, such as Google Display Network ads.

The primary purpose for remarketing is to help consumers keep your company or product top-of-mind. This can serve several purposes, including generating leads, making an initial purpose, and upselling and cross-selling. 

Why Consumers Find Remarketing so Annoying

Your typical non-marketer consumer may not know these terms or the inner workings of remarketing. They just know them as ads that seem to follow them everywhere they go after visiting your website, and they have some good reasons to hate them. 

Ads are out of context

Have you ever been shopping for some kind of martech product and then get retargeting ads for it on your favorite hockey blog? If you’re a marketer, you probably just sigh and nod your head in shame that someone’s doing it wrong. Displaying ads out of context is one of the big reasons why consumers feel like they’re being “followed” by you. It sticks out like a sore thumb because it’s just the wrong place and the wrong time. However, if you can contextualize your remarketing, the ads will seem natural and do what they’re supposed to do — keep your brand top-of-mind. When you see ads for the hockey gear you’ve been shopping for on the hockey blog and email automation on marketing industry websites, you nod your head in approval and think “YEAH, these folks know what they’re doing!” Then you buy that 12-pack of pucks and call back that martech SDR who has been hounding you for the last six weeks. Mission accomplished! 

Your ads are absofreakinlutely everywhere, forever

The more times someone sees your ad, the more likely they’ll remember you, right? That might be the case, but they’ll probably be remembering that they’d like to strangle you. A study performed by Skin Media and RAPP Media aimed to find out how this repetitiveness affects consumers. In the study, they found that people think that seeing a retargeted ad five or more times is “annoying” while seeing it ten or more times makes them “angry”. Not the experience you’re looking for. More than half of the visitors polled said that they may be interested in the ad the first time they see it, even though only 10% report making a purchase as a result of seeing a remarketed ad. Think carefully when you are setting your frequency caps and make sure you are not inundating your customers with ads.

Getting retargeted for stuff you already bought

Step 1: Buy a new power drill. Step 2: See millions of retargeting ads for the same freaking drill. Step 3: Scream at your computer “GAWD, fix your suppression, dummies!” The average consumer may also find this rather inept, but more likely, they’re going to be turned off by it. Proper post-conversion ad suppression makes your marketing much more efficient and saves your customers from the agony of being reminded of their purchase for six weeks, or worse, seeing an ad with a lower price than they paid and making them feel conned. 

How Call Tracking Data Can Make the Remarketing Experience Better

Particularly in the post-cookies age we live in where the use of third-party cookies for remarketing are being smashed by new regulations and browser-level cookie-blocking, using every source of first-party data you have at hand for remarketing is critical. If your business gets a lot of sales inquiries from inbound phone calls, your remarketing picture gets even muddier. A potential customer may have navigated to your website and clicked on a page or product before calling you and either asking a question or ultimately making a purchase. Either way, you are left with a data gap that leaves you open for making bad remarketing decisions that will annoy your customers and waste your marketing budget.

You can bridge this data gap and get your hands on precise first-party data for remarketing by using a call tracking and conversational analytics platform like Invoca. When your customers call you, they are literally telling you what they want and how they talk about it. To feasibly classify customer conversations into useful digital datasets, you need an automated system that can understand what’s being said and accurately derive meaning from it. Your call tracking platform should be able to accomplish a couple of things: 

  • Automatically determine the outcome of inbound phone calls 
  • Predict and classify call type (e.g. sales call, service call, etc.)
  • Collect digital journey data such as UTM, keywords, and Gclid (Google Click ID)
  • Push marketing intelligence collected from calls to your martech stack in real time

With this type of functionality, you can fine-tune your remarketing campaigns without doing a lot of heavy lifting. The data can be fed to your DMP and/or ad network to automate the process in real time. And when you understand the nature of a call, you can optimize your media for higher ROI, which can be particularly helpful when you are nailing down the next best step in your marketing, whether that be retargeting ads for someone who did not make a purchase or suppressing ads for someone who did. You can also use call data to feed to Google’s automated bidding algorithm to adjust your bids according to what is (or isn’t) happening on the phone.

Invoca's call tracking platform has native integrations with marketing platforms like Google Ads, Adobe Experience Cloud, Microsoft Advertising, and Facebook.
Invoca has integrations with your preferred marketing platform to help automate remarketing based on call analytics data.

Conversational analytics tools like Invoca’s new Signal Discovery takes this to a new level of precision and granularity, as it can help you find out things about phone conversations that you don’t even know to look for. Over 56% of marketers have no idea what’s said during the calls that they drive or what the outcomes of those calls are. It’s a big data gap that marketers shouldn’t have to live with. “Conversations are overflowing with insights that don’t always see the light of day outside the contact center. As a result, many companies are missing out on opportunities to create a more consistent and positive customer experience across human and digital touchpoints,” said Dan Miller, lead analyst and founder at Opus Research. 

Signal Discovery solves this issue by enabling marketers to quickly gain new insights from tens of thousands of conversations and take action on them in real time. From there, you’re able to drill down into each topic to understand caller behavior and then create a “signal” that Invoca will listen for in future calls so you can see exactly when a specific topic is discussed and can automate your marketing based on this data. No more guesswork, no more risky call assumptions.

With all this data, you can make your remarketing efforts more targeted, relevant, efficient, and above all, less annoying.

Get the Call Tracking Study Guide for Marketers to learn more about how Invoca can help you optimize your remarketing efforts.

Learn how Invoca call tracking and conversational analytics works in the Call Tracking Study Guide for Marketers. Click to Download.
Owen Ray

Posted by Owen Ray

Owen Ray is the Senior Content Marketing Manager at Invoca. Prior to that, he worked with SaaS companies like Aria Systems, Glassdoor, and Mindjet. Owen sharpened his writing tools at San Francisco State University and Bay Area newspapers before working his way into the Silicon Valley creative services set. He hails from Santa Rosa, California and definitely does not leave work early on Wednesdays to go drag racing at Sonoma Raceway.