3 Ways Marketers are Upleveling B2B Retargeting for Maximum Impact

When retargeting came onto the scene, it answered many marketers’ dreams: bring prospects back to your site when they’ve veered off course and keep the engagement going. 

While this definitely boosted site traffic and brought about promising metrics, further funnel results started to show this simple tactic couldn’t work alone. The level of site traffic simply wasn’t matching things like opportunity creation or close rates, let alone revenue.  

3 Ways Marketers are Upleveling B2B Retargeting for Maximum Impact

There needed to be more focus around who was getting marketing retargeting budgets. Site traffic alone doesn’t matter; good site traffic matters. And as better tech has developed over the years, bringing just ‘anybody’ back to your site isn’t cutting it. 

Stop putting budget toward ‘just anyone’

Unless you have extremely laser-focused control over who’s coming to your site in the first place, a lot of your retargeting budget could be at risk going toward low-value visitors. 

That means if your mom checks out your website to try to figure out what you actually do for a living, or if a student is glossing your pages to quote in their essay, or if a tiny company with zero budget for your services wishes they could buy….they’re all getting retargeted with your ads as if they are a good fit for your business. That’s a lot of wasted budget and false metrics around ‘engagement’. 

Before considering any engagement or site activity, marketers must consider the account or buyer taking the action. 

Get to know who deserves your investment

There are three ways marketers can uplevel their retargeting to stop dwindling those hard-earned marketing dollars toward prospects that simply never convert (hello spam visitors or students doing research), but it all starts with a clear picture of your ideal audience. 

Before you can reap the benefits of upleveled retargeting, you should run through an exercise of getting clear on your ideal customer profile (ICP). Simply put, these are the firmographic and technographic ‘filters’ you should apply to prioritize who you want to attract to your site in the first place:

Firmographic—Firmographics are descriptive attributes of companies that can be used to aggregate individual organizations into meaningful market segments. Essentially, firmographics are to businesses and organizations what demographics are to people. Some examples are:

  • industry (e.g., investment banking, financial services, accounting)
  • geography (e.g., U.S., Canada, UK, Ireland)
  • company size (e.g., 500-5000 employees)
  • revenue (e.g., $10MM+)

Technographic—Technographics are a set of attributes that give insight into the tech stack of customers, including contract lengths and other details. Some examples are:

  • marketing automation platform
  • CRM
  • direct mail vendor

That means, no more wasted budget or vanity metrics around those who won’t actually become winning customers. Here’s an example:

Now, let’s get to it. Here are the three ways you can use your ICP and tweak your approach to retargeting to get more bang for your buck:

1. Target the right B2B buyers, before they get to you 

Once you’ve identified who is a ‘high-quality’ site visitor, it’s time to stop leaving it to chance. The age-old concept that content marketing or inbound alone will drive the right audience leaves a lot of room for traffic that’s not ideal for your business. You can still build those foundational assets or messages, but instead, you should be driving targeted marketing programs to promote specific offers to target audiences to help control audience quality. 

You should be running most of your marketing programs against this clear audience, and that includes your digital advertising before they even get to your site. 
With the mass data at your fingertips through account-based tech, you can uncover thousands of accounts that match your ICP criteria and start serving digital advertising directly to them, even if you don’t ‘know’ buyers yet. 

By supplying that first touch to accounts through targeted ads, you’ll be bringing the right people to your site and then can choose to only retarget those accounts. That means no more budget going toward your mom’s site visits or accounts that will never be a fit for your product or service. 

2.  Reach buyers in sales cycles with segmentation and clear offers

Did your ‘pre-targeting’ and retargeting work? Once you’ve gotten a buyer into a sales cycle, you can start to get far more specific with segmentation and offers. This shouldn’t be replacing your retargeting campaigns, but rather refining them. In addition to your behavior-based offers and campaigns, you can start to segment lists of buyers based on their sales stage or persona to deliver highly-relevant ads that meet their stage in your funnel. This will help you skip the ‘spray and pray’ method of blasting your entire audience with the same message. 

That means you can select the creative and offer that can supercharge them through your sales funnel; whether it’s a top of funnel blog or a lower-funnel gated asset, you have the power to run targeted advertising toward your chosen lists. When it comes to allocating budget based on sales stage, you now have more control to put more budget towards programs that deliver higher results.

For example, you’ll want to put more budget toward lower-funnel offers since they’re expressing more interest and engagement (more likely to close). You might then choose to allocate a more moderate budget toward the top of funnel til they move further. 

This play is a prime example of using the first two tips together for an airtight air cover strategy:

3. Tap into third-party data to reach ready-to-buy accounts

A common tweak marketers have made is to only retarget visitors who’ve visited certain ‘important’ pages that may show purchase intent. This may look like a product or pricing page, or a specific event landing page. 

While that’s an important step to better allocate investment toward high-intent pages, you can also leverage third-party intent data before someone has even visited a high-intent page on your site. That means you can reach an untapped audience that may not even know your brand exists yet, bring them to your site if they're interested in topics related to your business, and then retarget them from there. Closed loop. 

How do you do this? The key here is to work with third-party intent where you’re able to select topic clusters related to your product or services and then track which accounts are surging on those topics. 

From there, you can layer intent into your campaigns and pre-target your high-fit, high-intent audience to engage with your brand. It’s one of the most efficient uses of budget for marketers looking to weed out ‘bad’ leads and focus on quality accounts that are ready to buy. 

Here’s an example:

Embrace the Holy Grail 

When you take into account the ways marketers are upleveling their retargeting, it comes down to how they approach their audiences and programs through prioritization. The true holy grail is to pinpoint your high-fit, high-intent, and high-engagement audience and deliver best-in-class marketing programs to them wherever they are. Marketers have long been dabbling with all of these data signals, but have struggled to blend them together for a cohesive strategy. Now’s the time to incorporate each of these essential signals into a comprehensive approach that you bring to market; cutting the waste and getting straight to happy customers. 

What’s Next? Scalability.

Ultimately, no matter the size of your team or budget, there’s no reason to keep throwing resources toward a dead end. With these few tweaks to route only the right accounts and buyers to your site and strategically retarget that group, you’ll start to see traction build and opportunities land. Your sales team and bottom line will be much happier. If you want to learn more on how to go beyond retargeting with contact and account based targeting and leveraging intent data, feel free to get in touch with one of our reps to schedule a demo

About the Author

Caroline Van Dyke, Head of Content

Caroline is a B2B marketer with a knack for building start-up content strategies from scratch. With a passion for crafting the right message at the right time (and a good pun), she leads content for real marketers by telling their real stories. In the rare case she's not busy writing, you can find her consuming true crime podcasts, stand-up specials, and copious amounts of cheese.

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