The Mobile Marketer’s Guide to Retargeting

June 4, 2024

Every marketer knows about the “Rule of Seven,” which tells us that potential new users must see your brand seven times before they take action. Every web user knows that ads tend to follow them around the internet. Consumers who dare to click on an advertisement for something know that the product will become a fixture of their web experience for days. This phenomenon is known as retargeting and is integral to mobile marketing success.

It’s also important to note that “retargeting” and “remarketing” are often used interchangeably. Remarketing typically refers to marketing to existing users to boost engagement and revenue.

This strategy is critical for app marketers to get the most out of the users they spend time and money acquiring but only sometimes retain for the long haul. It makes good business sense because, as McKinsey notes, “To make up for the loss of one existing customer, companies have to acquire three new customers. And 80 percent of the value creation achieved by successful growth companies comes from their core business—namely, generating new revenue from existing customers.”

These two forms of retargeting are closely related enough that we think it’s important to cover both aspects. In this article, FeedMob will dive into the intricacies of mobile retargeting and discuss its future in a privacy-centric world.

What is retargeting?

Over the past couple of decades, digital marketers have perfected the art of tracking and leveraging user data to optimize their marketing efforts. This allows marketers to target users according to individual behavior. In the mobile realm, this typically means serving ads to users via the mobile web or mobile apps. InfoTrust has a helpful breakdown of the steps needed to retarget successfully:

  1. Identify the behavior on which you want to segment
  2. Create a retargeting audience 
  3. Audience pushed to platform through integration 
  4. Identify the user on other sites or apps and serve an ad

Imagine you are a ride-sharing app, and you run ads in a travel booking app to try and capture the attention of people who are about to take a trip and may need to book a car from the airport or around the city they are visiting. They don’t download your app when booking the trip. Still, you retarget them with ads in the booking app when they check their itinerary, in a map app that they use to navigate their destination city, or on mobile websites for attractions they may visit. This example is a classic case of mobile retargeting.

However, retargeting is for more than just new users. If you’re considering retargeting to re-engage existing users, you’re not alone—and it’s probably a good investment. Adjust data tells us, “Retargeting campaign users have an overall 152% higher engagement rate (number of events per user) than new user acquisition campaigns over 30 days.” Retargeting looks the same in this case, but the criteria you use to target individuals or groups will change. For instance, you may target users who have not opened your app in 30 days or abandoned an item in their cart.

Pros and Cons of retargeting

Retargeting existing users to improve engagement works and is incredibly lucrative. Again, Adjust tells us, “Retargeting campaign users also make 37% more revenue events in the first 30 days than new user acquisition campaigns.” These users are also more likely to stick around, helping ensure that marketers get the most for their user acquisition dollars.

Despite its benefits, mobile marketers may have already spotted the obvious problem with retargeting: the need for user-level data. In an increasingly privacy-centric world, the data needed to retarget individual users is increasingly hard to obtain. From the deprecation of IDFA to the ongoing deprecation of third-party cookies, retargeting as we know it is dying.

Tips for being successful with retargeting

Historically, successfully using retargeted ads required marketers to identify the right segments and serve them the right creative without crossing the line into stalker-territory and turning off potential new customers. Today, however, there’s more to consider.

First-party data is increasingly important in the future of retargeting. In our world, that means leaning on supply types like Owned + Operated. This staple of FeedMob clients’ marketing mix allows them to be incredibly targeted with their buys, thanks to the diversity of offerings and rich first-party data. Add a wide variety of ad types — such as banners, native ads, or videos — and a reputation for clean and trusted traffic, and you have a safe and effective choice for many brands.

Programmatic can also still be used for retargeting purposes, as it typically integrates well with SKAN campaigns. Even as Google phases out third-party cookies and mobile IDs in 2024, our experts have followed along closely and believe Google is committed to building a privacy-forward solution with the help of feedback from the ecosystem to ensure a smooth rollout when the change finally comes.

So don’t count out retargeting just yet! Mobile marketers interested in retargeting can still find solutions. However, it helps to have a trusted partner advise you at each step.

Posted: June 4, 2024

Category: FeedMob News and Updates, Mobile Insights Blog, Mobile Performance Strategies

Tags: performancemarketing, retargeting

FeedMob Team

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