If you give a mouse a cookie, it’s going to want a glass of milk.
If you give a marketer a cookie, they’re going to want an email address.
That’s because, in a world where 60% of the time spent online is mobile, cookies – the HTML kind, not the delicious chocolate chip kind – are pretty limited in their ability to track and target customers.
As a result, marketers are turning their focus to CRM retargeting through people-based marketing platforms like Facebook’s Atlas, Twitter’s Tailored Audiences, or AOL One – all of which use login-based IDs like the email address as a way to match and target customers within paid media channels.
Why is that so much better than cookies? Well, two main reasons:
1. A person’s email address is tied directly to that person, so you know exactly whom you are reaching.
2. A person’s email address remains the same across every device and browser a person logs in on, so the campaign is 100% cross-device.
Awesome, right? So, why not just abandon cookies to the Stone Age? Why not simply banish them as outdated and archaic and be done with them?
Well, maybe one day – but not today.
While people-based marketing has significant advantages and is available through the platforms we mentioned (and many that we didn’t) it still has a ways to go before the technology is widespread enough to scale the same way cookies do and, frankly, its not yet easy enough for everyone to just adopt all willy-nilly.
Besides, cookie retargeting, despite its limitations, can still be pretty darn effective. There are definitely situations where you should be using cookie retargeting or CRM retargeting or both.
So how do you know when you should be using what?
Here’s the breakdown:
Are they anonymous, first-time website visitors and prospects?
You want to use cookie retargeting. There will always a bunch of new traffic (hopefully!) coming to your website – either from search campaigns, display campaigns, or even directly. For these visitors, you likely won’t have any prior customer data on and you can’t do CRM retargeting if you don’t have CRM data. For these visitors, go ahead and drop a cookie on them. A website visitor who is retargeted with display ads is 70% more likely to return and convert. And once they convert, you can then take the data from that transaction and use it for CRM retargeting.
Are they known customers?
You want to use CRM retargeting. Anyone that has given you their email address can be reached through CRM retargeting, so as a best practice, you want to make sure any transaction – either online or offline – requires an email address. You can then create detailed customer segments that you can upsell, re-engage, or reward with messaging that is tailored precisely to where they are in the customer lifecycle.
Are they known customers you want to reach everywhere?
You want to use both. While the cookie retargeting may not be as efficient or effective, you will reach more people in more places by combining it with CRM retargeting segments. And in either case, you want to make sure you are using a data-onboarding partner (we use LiveRamp) to ensure your customer segments are as rich and detailed as possible and so you can get accurate insight into what channels are providing the most value. How exactly can companies like LiveRamp help you to determine the value of your different channels? More on that to come!
In the meantime, check out this ebook on how CRM retargeting works and its uses.