Re-targeting may in fact be far more useful for organisations when a customers have veins popping out of their foreheads than when they’ve abandoned a shopping cart a marketing strategist has claimed.
Brian Walker, chief strategy officer for hybris Software said that while retargeting “had a bad name”, in the right context it had a bright future. And that generally meant when a customer was apoplectic with rage.
“Re-targeting is thought of as shopping cart abandonment emails. Or pushing a shoe that you were looking at on one website and marketing to you that same shoe somewhere else . . . it can become a little creepy for customers,” he said.
However Walker argued that the technology behind this had much more potential than just weirding people out and making them reach for their tinfoil hats.
“If you think about contextual marketing techniques, it can also really improve your overall customer service, so if you have a customer service issue or you’re in the process of returning an item or let’s say you just bought the item, you don’t want to see marketing about that product, you want to receive communication talking about your satisfaction level, getting feedback, proactively supporting the customer in their usage of the product, right?
“So if you think about techniques like re-targeting but in a little different framework, it can become a communications tool.”
Walker joined hybris from Forrester Research, where he worked as a researcher. When asked what made him jump ship from the analyst side to the vendor side he said that “in Hybris I saw a company and technology solution set that were really poised to deliver on some of the things that I had been advising and writing about for many years”.
Hybris was acquired by SAP in 2013 for its ecommerce capabilities, but has since launched its own marketing cloud solution.
And being an old Forresters boy, Walker pointed to new research from his former employer that showed that 93% of customers would prefer to buy online in a B2B context.
“Often times it’s not about price it’s about how quickly I can get the product … it’s about knowing all the assurances throughout the ordering process and products arriving and predictability around that, that’s way more important than price,” he said.
He added that in the business context, people were more concerned with getting tasks done efficiently and the most efficient channel was online. Walker said because we had all had our behaviours changed by “the pocket computers” we all carried around, we naturally brought that changed behaviour to our place of business.
“Companies that continue to try and do things the way they always have, are ripe for disruption,” he said.