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Winning the iron throne of retargeting: How competition leads to innovation

Spoiler alert: This post is going heavy on Game of Thrones references. Why? Because the marketing world might as well be Westeros. Competition, treachery, and earning loyalty are all at the forefront of our industry.

Competition is scary. There is always a risk that someone will do what we do faster and better, becoming so powerful that they take control over the King’s Landing of marketing. But even if you’re a lone Targaryen or a privileged Tyrell or Lannister, there’s always a way to turn your e-shop into a money-making empire with the right technologies and strategic planning in performance-based marketing activities.

#1 Winter is Coming – Competition is a natural way to develop your business
Don’t rest on your laurels – the primary rule for building any empire. Thinking you’re safe is as dangerous in King’s Landing as it is in performance marketing. Growing a business today requires a lay of the land, command of innovative technologies, and new strategies that adapt to the digital world.

By keeping online business in a perpetual state of the Stark’s House Motto “Winter is Coming”, owners can retain a competitive edge, benchmarking business performance to operate at maximum. In order to make strategic moves that will give you a sustainable competitive edge, there must be valuable information that you can analyze.

In digital marketing, there are many tools that help identify the potential threats and opportunities, allowing business owners to react to changes in their market, audience or competitive pressures. Competition within your own business providers ensures the best results. There are a ton of marketing and remarketing solution providers out there. For instance, multiple retargeting and social retargeting are just some of the new ways to ensure your campaigns work to their full potential. When using multiple retargeting strategies, all of your providers must focus on delivering transparent and effective results. With additional data streams, you can benchmark the average effective costs of sale (COS) between the service providers, as well as other measures.

#2 Choose your alliance wisely – Make your activities more goal-oriented
When competition isn’t present, we often resort to laziness which can be destructive to our motivation.

Same as in the Game of Thrones, in the real world you also need good allies to succeed. Whether these are vendors, technology providers, or consultants, your success relies upon people outside of your company.

Modern companies use a multiple-strategy building alliances wisely with many tech providers. They focus not only on a short-time perspective but also a long-term approach to remind old visitors (brand awareness) or to bring back visitors during peak sales periods (seasonal purchasing). It helps keep a brand top-of-mind as users browse the internet, and likely keeps those visitors coming back if they did make a purchase in the past.

When considering what allies to choose, remember that different retargeters offer different flexibility in your goal strategies. You can have different short-term goals determined by your mid- and long-term display marketing assumptions. Making deals with more than one and having many alternatives brings better results.

#3 “Once you’ve accepted your flaws, no one can use them against you.”
When you play a Game of Thrones, only Jon Snow gets a second chance at life. When a potential customer is dropped from targeting, or when you aren’t optimizing your digital campaigns, you’re slowly losing them to competitor marketers that are faster and smarter at reaching them. By mastering multiple-retargeting strategies, you can cover your weak spots and stay at the forefront of commercial competition.

Today, almost every e-commerce player uses retargeting as a way to multiply their revenue. But it comes down to how smart your approach is. Because every retargeter is different – they may use completely different algorithms, user segmentation, unique creatives – they bring wildly different results.

One tool may be better in reaching a certain group of users, while another will be more effective when appealing to another group of potential buyers. It comes down to algorithms in the end, so mastering a multiple retargeting approach (or at least using two) will ideally yield results that do not overlap with the first provider, while covering the weaknesses of the other.

“Every flight begins with a fall.”

Crafting a retargeting strategy that beats out the competition isn’t easy. It takes weeks or months of iteration, data analysis, and some failure, to get to the point where optimization finally becomes possible. Once those painful points are overcome (and they can easily be beaten), your business will experience hyper-optimized revenue growth without injecting any more ad spend or budget towards your goals.

Daniel Surmacz

Daniel Surmacz is the Chief Operating Officer at RTB House. He focuses on creating a long-term development strategy and working out key guidelines for foreign expansion of RTB House. He has been planning and coordinating all business activities since the company was founded.