Understanding promotional products through retargeting

The valuable lesson of retargeting

Making an advertisement can be easy – the hard part is getting people to listen. Small businesses that find themselves up against big box retailers must face not only competitors with instant brand recognition, but also larger budgets. As such, it's important that local businesses learn to utilize their advertising budgets wisely so that they can turn buzzwords and images into sales. 

This is called a conversion rate, and in today's digitally-tuned day and age, there is no shortage of tools at companies' disposal to lure in a larger customer base. Promotional products may be just the token for potential clients to remember businesses by, while in-store sales and promotions can generate plenty of foot traffic. Then, of course, there is the Internet, where organizations are able to utilize any number of devices in the service of advertising. Retargeting is one of the newest tools available to businesses. They should familiarize themselves with this concept for no other reason than to improve their business strategies, including the use of promotional goods.

Retargeting explained
Small Business Trends recently explained retargeting, which is one of the seemingly more unsettling aspects of online marketing but could nonetheless have a huge impact on organizations' conversion rates. Anyone who noticed that advertisements on his or her computer seem oddly customized - not just to their personal interests but also to their browser history - has seen retargeting in action.

Behind the scenes is a simple piece of computer code that sets a cookie in people's browsers after they have visited that site. Now, whenever people with that cookie goes to other websites, an advertisement for that website will follow them. 

While this sounds somewhat creepy, there is nothing invasive about the process, as advertisers do not gain any special information about website visitors. Additionally, this is actually a form of focused advertising that can pay dividends for advertisers. Instead of blanketing people indiscriminately with ads that fall on deaf ears or blind eyes, retargeting focuses advertising so that it only reaches people who have already shown interest in their product. According to Small Business Trends, reports from Econsultancy.com and ReTargeter.com have shown high returns on investments and decreased shopping cart abandonment. 

Applying the tools
Retargeting, while potentially helpful, can also be rendered useless or even harmful to sales depending on how it is implemented. It is possible to mismanage and overdue retargeting, so that customers become bombarded with advertisements that try to sell them products they've already purchased. Not only is this counterproductive, but it can also begin to feel like white noise or, worse, spam. One-time customers then may never return again. 

While retargeting is a product of the 21st century, the lessons learned here are not. Businesses that want to advertise effectively must learn to focus their efforts in ways that appeal to customers instead of making them run away. 

The analog parallel to retargeting may be the concept of promotional giveaways. If geared toward the audience that might find value in the items being offered, prizes and handouts can be a valuable tool to staying relevant in consumers' minds. This is especially true at trade shows, where potential clients might scour dozens of booths in a day, collecting small tokens along the way. Advertising on pens may be one worthwhile gift, but other items, such as flash drives and totes may make an impression that sets a business apart from others. However, if the items are not carefully chosen, they can feel like junk to the wrong audience. 

Whether or not businesses choose to employ retargeting, the principle of striking a balance between visibility and restraint is still worth understanding. 

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