How to Stalk Your Customers Like a Pro

By on June 23, 2010

Stalk CustomersImagine going into your local electronics store, Joe’s Electronics, to look at a new flat-screen TV.  You check out the various models, talk with a sales person, and decide to think it over.  You’ve heard Best Buy has some good deals, and maybe you’ll head over there tomorrow to see what they’ve got.  As you walk toward your car, you encounter a guy wearing a Joe’s Electronics t-shirt.  You start your car and can’t help but be shocked by the coincidence as a Joe’s Electronics commercial comes on the radio.  Driving a little ways down the road, you notice a Joe’s Electronics billboard, featuring the TV you were looking at, then another similar billboard on the next block.  You get home to find a direct mail piece from Joe’s Electronics with your favorite TV highlighted, and when you flip on the TV (your old one), the first commercial you see is for – what else – Joe’s Electronics.

If this happened in real life you might be a little weirded out, but aside from that you’d probably pretty impressed with Joe’s.  You’d think they must have one heck of an ad budget, first of all, and they would have accomplished getting their message in front of you the seven times that researchers say are necessary, on average, for a person to see it before they buy.

Of course in the offline world, advertising is somewhat of a shotgun approach, so to get the kind of coverage that any specific person would see this much would take many thousands of dollars.  Online though, this kind of targeted marketing is becoming easier all the time.  A relatively new trend in online advertising, retargeting, is taking off in a big way.  Basically, the way retargeting works is that it allows you to present targeted ads to visitors to your site who don’t make a purchase.  After the non-buyer leaves your site, these ads are presented all over the internet using a number of ad networks, via tracking cookies.

If you have an ecommerce site or sell anything at all online, there are a few providers of this service you’ll want to look at.

FetchBack – Using what their patent-pending FIDO technology, FetchBack claims to be the only company that offers retargeting specific analytics.  This translates into saved time and strong ROI. On June 1st, FetchBack announced they had been acquired by GSI Commerce, which will allow them to bring even more value to customers, as GSI is a leading provider of e-commerce and interactive marketing solutions.

FetchBack

AdRoll – Founded in 2006, AdRoll believes online advertising should be easy for small to medium-sized businesses to implement and understand.  AdRoll offers precise targeting through Google, OpenX, AdBrite, AdMeld and others, and their feature-rich retargeting product, RoundTrip, promises the best performing placements for site-targeted campaigns.

AdRoll

Specific Media – Located at Retargeting.com, Specific Media offers multiple levels of service depending on your advertising goals. Their Premium service is comprised of over 450 ‘Brand Name’ web publishers, such as, ABC, ABCNews, Gannett Newspaper Group, ESPN, FoxNews, FoxSports, Major League Baseball, NBC, NYTimes, The Weather Channel, CBS, CBSNews, Food Network, and others, whereas their Performance level product is a large aggregate of small to medium websites that are not known ‘Brands’ and typically wouldn’t attract the advertising budgets from large agencies or advertisers.

Specific Media

Google AdWords – You know when Google gets in the game the trend is usually here to stay, and they did just that in March of this year.  They call the feature “remarketing” and you can easily set up and create a remarketing campaign through the new “Audiences” tab in AdWords.

Google AdWords

Any of these services will allow you to retarget your customers (or would-be customers) by “stalking” them after they leave your site.  If you, like many, are averse to tracking cookies and feel like this is, in some way, a violation of privacy, this technique probably isn’t for you.  On the other hand, if all that doesn’t bother you and you’re looking for an effective way to convert your visitors to buyers, retargeting might just be the answer you’ve been looking for.  If you are using retargeting or have tried it, help out the community by sharing your experience in the comments bellow.

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Adam Toren

About Adam Toren

Adam Toren is an Award Winning Author, Serial Entrepreneur, and Investor. He Co-Founded YoungEntrepreneur.com along with his brother Matthew. Adam is co-author of the newly released book: Small Business, Big Vision: “Lessons on How to Dominate Your Market from Self-Made Entrepreneurs Who Did it Right” and also co-author of Kidpreneurs.